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Ex-minister named new Guinea PM: state media

CONAKRY, May 22, 2018 (BSS/AFP) - A former government minister and economist has been named the new prime minister of Guinea by President Alpha Conde, according to a decree read out on state media.

Ibrahima Kassory Fofana, 64, was previously responsible for investments and public-private partnerships in the outgoing government, which resigned last week.

"The president of the republic, professor Alpha Conde, signed Monday night a decree appointing Mr Ibrahima Kassory Fofana (64 years) as prime minister, head of government", the decree said.

He must "propose a new government as soon as possible" in the West African state, it added.

Fofana replaces Mamady Youla, who resigned on May 17, two months after the president promised to carry out a "great ministerial reshuffle" following a series of strikes and demonstrations against the official outcome of local elections in February.

The vote was the first of its kind since a military dictatorship ended a decade ago. Opposition leaders say the process was unfair and fraudulent.

At least a dozen people were killed in post-election protest violence.

Last week, opposition parties suspended the street protests, saying the international community had offered to mediate.

Fofana, a former political opponent of Conde, has developed a closer relationship with the president in recent years.

An economist by training, the new prime minister was a senior government official in the 70s and 80s, including in the area of international cooperation. He also served as the budget and finance minister in the 90s.

After a period of voluntary exile, he returned to Guinea and stood as a presidential candidate in 2010 but won only 0.66 percent of the vote.