Senegal's Sall appoints anti-graft campaigner as prime minister

Senegalese President Macky Sall speaks during an interview at the presidential palace in Dakar June 28, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

DAKAR (Reuters) - President Macky Sall of Senegal appointed rights activist and anti-corruption campaigner Aminata Toure as prime minister after sacking a previous government on Sunday.

Toure was justice minister in the outgoing government and led the government’s drive to stamp out corruption by pursuing high-level cases involving senior officials, including the son of former president Abdoulaye Wade.

Toure has also been the driving force behind government effort to press ahead with the long-delayed trial of former Chadian leader Hissene Habre, who is accused of crimes against humanity during his 1982-1990 rule.

“The president has asked me to form and lead a new government...I have accepted the job,” said Toure, 51, who is a member of Sall’s ruling APR party.

Sall fired former Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye a little more than a year after naming the former banker to head the government after he won a March 2012 presidential election.

Presidential spokesman Abou Abel Thiam did not say why Mbaye, who was not a member of any political party, was sacked.

Sall won a hotly contested presidential election in March 2012 against veteran incumbent Wade, promising to tackle poverty and corruption as a priority and reduce the cost of running the West African state’s government.

Reporting by Diadie Ba; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Jon Boyle