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Senegal swears-in Prez Bassirou Diomaye Faye



Senegal swears-in Prez Bassirou Diomaye Faye

Senegal swore in Bassirou Diomaye Faye as its new president on Tuesday, marking a remarkable journey for the previously unknown opposition figure who went from prison to the palace in recent weeks.

Faye, a former tax inspector, was released from prison less than two weeks before the March 24 election along with his mentor Ousmane Sonko, a popular opposition figure. This came after a political amnesty declared by outgoing President Macky Sall. It is Faye’s first time holding elected office.

The election served as a test for Senegal’s reputation as a stable democracy in West Africa, following months of unrest sparked by the arrests of Sonko and Faye. Concerns about the president potentially seeking a third term in office despite constitutional limits also fueled the protests, leading to dozens of deaths and numerous arrests.

Faye campaigned on a platform to tackle corruption and improve the management of Senegal’s natural resources. His victory reflected the frustrations of the country’s youth with widespread unemployment and perceived exploitation by France, its former colonial ruler.

In his inaugural speech, Faye vowed to combat corruption and revamp the economy. He is a practicing Muslim with two wives and made a point of declaring his assets before the election to demonstrate transparency.

As he begins his term, Faye faces the challenge of forming a new government that will signal a break from the past. His relationship with Sonko, who played a key role in his rise to power, remains unclear. Sonko’s supporters believe that his legal troubles were orchestrated by the government to hinder his political career.

While Sall eventually decided not to seek a third term, his last-minute attempt to postpone the election in February caused further unrest. This move was eventually overturned by the constitutional court, and the election proceeded in March.


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