Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade named a new government on Friday, with his son Karim a notable inclusion in the team despite losses in local government elections, which dealt a serious blow to the Wade family.

Karim Wade, until now the head of a powerful state agency and his father’s adviser, takes on a wide-ranging portfolio including international cooperation, infrastructure and aviation in his position as minister of state, state radio announced.

The key interior, finance and foreign affairs ministries remain unchanged but analysts say the reshuffle pointed to the replacement of technocrats in the government with a team of politicians closer to Wade.

The nomination of the new government, which will be headed by Prime Minister Souleymane Ndene Ndiaye, who took over from Cheikh Hajibou Soumare on Thursday, follows a heavy defeat for Wade’s governing coalition in March local elections.

Wade’s party lost control of the council in Dakar and several other key cities in the West African country.

The polls were largely seen as a referendum on Wade’s government of Senegal, which has long been a bastion of democracy in West Africa but critics have said is becoming increasingly authoritarian under the 82-year-old’s charge.


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