Page last updated at 10:43 GMT, Wednesday, 3 June 2009 11:43 UK

Senegal approves new post of VP

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade (l), flanked by his son Karim Wade
President Abdoulaye Wade (l) recently appointed his son to a senior position

Senegal's parliament has approved a bill to create the new post of vice-president in the West African nation.

According to the bill, the position will be a presidential appointee.

The legislation has prompted opposition speculation that 83-year-old President Abdoulaye Wade is grooming his son Karim as a successor.

The BBC's Tidiane Sy in the capital, Dakar, says the president has denied this, but recently appointed his son to a senior government post.

Our reporter says his appointment came after an opposition coalition heavily defeated the ruling parties in March's local elections, denying Karim Wade the chance of being elected mayor of Dakar.

Earlier, Justice Minister Madicke Niang defended the vice-presidency proposal, saying the institution would give the government a better public presence and allow it to pay more attention to citizens' needs.

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