Chad's president appoints economist as PM after government quits

Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:37pm EST

Chad's President Idriss Deby addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 25, 2013. REUTERS/Adam Hunger

Chad's President Idriss Deby addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 25, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Adam Hunger

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N'DJAMENA (Reuters) - Chad's President Idriss Deby named a new prime minister on Thursday, hours after the previous head of government resigned along with his cabinet as parliament prepared to examine a motion of censure against them.

Kalzeubet Pahimi Deubet an economist who currently heads Chad's government-owned cotton parastatal, was appointed under a presidential decree read on state television. He has also held a number of positions in previous governments, including minister of the civil service and minister of communication.

Previous prime minister Joseph Djimrangar Dadnadji tendered his resignation earlier on Thursday, a day before lawmakers from his own ruling majority had planned to examine a motion of censure against his government.

Seventy-four legislators introduced a motion on Monday criticizing Dadnadji for chronic instability in the government and for failing to tackle Chad's high cost of living. The prime minister has ordered five cabinet reshuffles in 10 months.

"Assuming the consequences of this crisis, I present my resignation and that of my government," said Dadnadji's resignation letter to President Idriss Deby, read on state television. "The relationship with the majority, topped off by a motion of censure, hinders the continuation of my mission."

Deby has used his military to position landlocked, oil-producing Chad as a regional power broker as France seeks to reduce its influence in its former African colonies. Chadian troops were a key part of a French-led mission to hunt down al Qaeda fighters in northern Mali this year.

In March, Chadian peacekeepers played a decisive role in allowing rebels to seize power in Central African Republic.

But Deby's domestic position has appeared more fragile since he seized power in 1990. He has been forced to fend off rebellions and coup attempts in the ethnically fractious oil-producing desert nation.

(Reporting by Madjiasra Nako; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Emma Farge and Jon Boyle; editing by Ralph Boulton)

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