President Faye of Senegal appoints opposition leader Sonko

President Faye of Senegal appoints opposition leader Sonko as prime minister

Senegal’s newly elected left-wing pan-Africanist President, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, has taken the oath of office at the vibrant exhibition center in Diamniadio near Dakar.

At just 44 years old, Faye has vowed to bring about meaningful change to the country after years of turmoil, choosing opposition figurehead Ousmane Sonko as his prime minister.

Faye’s victory in the first round of elections came swiftly after his release from prison, where he had been detained just ten days earlier.

As he made his way back to the capital, the streets were filled with cheering supporters welcoming him to the presidential palace, where his predecessor, Macky Sall, symbolically handed over the key to the presidential headquarters before departing.

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This marks a new chapter in Senegal’s political landscape, with Faye’s bold vision for reform and inclusion at the forefront of his administration’s agenda.

READ ALSO: 44-year-old Faye emerges as Senegal President 10 days after returning from prison

“Before God and the Senegalese nation, I swear to faithfully fulfil the office of President of the Republic of Senegal,” Faye had said earlier in the day.

Just hours later, his new administration appointed firebrand opposition leader Sonko prime minister.

“Mr Ousmane Sonko is named prime minister,” said Oumar Samba Ba, the general secretary of the presidency, as he read out a decree on the public television station RTS.

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Sonko, 49, was at the centre of a two-year stand-off with the state that triggered bouts of deadly unrest. He was disqualified from running in the most recent race and picked Faye as his replacement on the presidential ballot.

The former tax inspector is Senegal’s fifth president since independence from France in 1960 and the first to openly admit to a polygamous marriage.

“I am aware that the results of the ballot box express a profound desire for systemic change,” Faye said in a brief speech after taking the presidential oath.

“Under my leadership, Senegal will be a country of hope, a peaceful country with an independent judiciary and a strengthened democracy,” he added.

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