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Senegal’s President Diomaye Faye Names Ousmane Sonko as Prime Minister

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Faye, aged 44, enters the political arena with no prior elected experience, securing a resounding victory in the first round of elections just ten days after his release from incarceration. His inauguration ceremony, witnessed by numerous dignitaries and heads of state from across Africa, took place at a venue in the newly developed town of Diamniadio, adjacent to Dakar.

Amidst jubilant scenes along the route to the presidential palace, Faye accepted the symbolic transfer of power from his predecessor, Macky Sall. “Before God and the Senegalese nation, I swear to faithfully fulfill the office of President of the Republic of Senegal,” he solemnly declared earlier in the day.

In a swift move, his administration named Ousmane Sonko, a fiery opposition leader, as prime minister, marking a significant step in their collaborative effort. Sonko, aged 49, had been at the forefront of a protracted confrontation with the government, culminating in his disqualification from the recent electoral race, where Faye stood as his replacement on the ballot.

Faye, a former tax inspector, now assumes the mantle as Senegal’s fifth president since gaining independence from France in 1960, openly acknowledging his polygamous marriage—a first for a Senegalese president.

Expressing a commitment to profound change, Faye vowed to lead Senegal towards a future defined by hope, peace, judicial independence, and fortified democracy. He paid tribute to the sacrifices made during years of political turbulence, pledging never to betray the trust placed in him.

Internationally, Faye emphasizes Senegal’s willingness to engage in mutually beneficial trade partnerships, asserting its sovereignty while meeting the aspirations of its people. His electoral triumph, predicated on promises of radical reform, garnered 54.3 percent of the vote, reflecting a widespread desire for change.

Focusing on reconciliation, economic sovereignty, and anti-corruption measures, Faye’s agenda includes reclaiming national control over key sectors like oil, gas, and fishing, alongside advocating for a new regional currency and bolstering agricultural self-sufficiency.

Despite international acclaim for Senegal’s democratic transition, Faye faces formidable challenges, notably in generating employment opportunities for the country’s youthful population, where unemployment officially stands at 20 percent. The plight of young Senegalese, compelled to embark on perilous journeys in search of better prospects abroad, underscores the urgency of addressing economic hardships at home.