BAMAKO, Sept 5 Mali's new president has named
Oumar Tatam Ly, a senior official from West Africa's regional
central bank, as his first prime minister, according to a
statement read on state television on Thursday.
The nomination of Ly, a technocrat who rose through the
ranks of the BCEAO central bank to become country director and
then special advisor to the governor, is the first sign of
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita sticking to a pledge to put
technical competence ahead of party affiliation in government.
The announcement was made a day after Keita was sworn in,
pledging to stamp out corruption and bring peace to Mali after a
turbulent 18 months saw a coup and a rebellion plunge the gold
exporter into crisis.
Keita secured a strong mandate to push through reforms after
he won 78 percent of the Aug. 11 vote.
Mali was long praised for its stability while other West
Africa states were embroiled in civil wars of post-election
But last year's troubles, which led to France dispatching
thousands of troops to fight al Qaeda-linked rebels, underscored
the weakness of Mali's democracy, which was undermined by
corruption, nepotism and the lack of real opposition.
A 12,600-strong United Nations peacekeeping mission is
rolling out across the country.
Ly, 50, has several economics degrees from France and worked
at the World Bank before joining the West African central bank.