DAKAR — Former Senegalese prime minister Moustapha Niasse was on Monday elected president of the national assembly following legislative elections on July 1.
Niasse, a member of the presidential coalition, faced off against Oumar Sarr of the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) which was the ruling party until March elections.
"We must be the worthy representatives of the Senegalese people," Niasse told lawmakers after his election.
The 72-year-old is a veteran politician who has served every regime since independence.
He was a member of cabinet for the country's first president Leopold Sedar Senghor, notably as foreign minister, prime minister for both Abdou Diouf and his successor Abdoulaye Wade and has also played a role as mediator in various crises on the continent.
Niasse ran for presidential office in 2000, 2007 and 2012, without success.
He will lead an assembly dominated by the presidential coalition, of which his Alliance of Forces for Progress (AFP) is a member, with 119 of 150 seats.
Former president Wade, who was thrashed by President Macky Sall in a contentious election in March, suffered a further defeat in parliamentary polls as his PDS won only 12 seats. Smaller parties share the rest of the seats.
The new national assembly has 64 women, double its predecessor, thanks to a law on parity which was adopted in 2010.
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