Senegal’s Faye appoints ally Ousmane Sonko as prime minister | Politics News


Senegal’s youngest president appoints ally and popular opposition figure Ousmane Sonko as prime minister.

Senegal’s new president has appointed firebrand politician and key backer Ousmane Sonko as prime minister in his first act as the West African nation’s leader.

Bassirou Diomaye Faye made the announcement shortly after he was sworn into office on Tuesday, pledging systemic change after years of deadly turmoil under his predecessor, Macky Sall, a political opponent of Sonko.

Speaking after his appointment, Sonko said he would present Faye with a full list of proposed ministerial appointments for his approval.

“There will be no question of leaving him (Faye) alone to assume this heavy responsibility”, Sonko said.

Faye took the presidential oath in front of hundreds of officials and several African heads of state at an exhibition centre in the new town of Diamniadio, near the capital, Dakar.

Faye, 44, has never previously held elected office. He swept to a first-round victory on a promise of radical reform just 10 days after being released from prison.

Lena Sene, an economist based in Dakar, told Al Jazeera that Faye faces a “very difficult” challenge as president.

“You cannot change an entire administration in one day. He understands that he has to put systems in place in order to fight corruption. He is ready for that,” she said.

Sonko, 49, was at the centre of a two-year standoff with the state that triggered bouts of deadly unrest.

Popular among Senegal’s youth, he was disqualified from running in the March 24 presidential race due to a defamation conviction, and picked Faye as his replacement on the presidential ballot. He denied any wrongdoing.

Campaigning jointly under the slogan “Diomaye is Sonko,” Sonko urged supporters to vote for his top lieutenant, Faye, who ultimately won with more than 54 percent of the vote in the first round.

Economic challenges

Faye, a former tax inspector, is Senegal’s fifth president since independence from France in 1960.

Acknowledging the country’s desire for “systemic change”, he pledged to strengthen the country’s democracy and establish an independent judiciary.

Working with his populist mentor, Faye now faces the challenge of carrying out national reconciliation, while easing the cost-of-living crisis, fighting corruption and appearing as someone not subservient to Sonko.

He has also promised to restore national sovereignty over key assets such as the oil, gas and fishing sectors.

The new government also needs to create enough jobs in a nation where 75 percent of the 18 million population is aged under 35, and the unemployment rate is officially 20 percent.

Students walks as they pass an electoral billboard of the Senegalese presidential candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye, who is backed in the March 24 election by opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, in Dakar, Senegal, March 20, 2024. REUTERS/Luc Gnago
Campaigning jointly under the slogan ‘Diomaye is Sonko,’ Sonko urged supporters to vote for his top lieutenant, Faye, who ultimately won with more than 54 percent of the vote in the first round [Luc Gnago/Reuters]



Also Read More: World News | Entertainment News | Celebrity News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

What You Don’t Know About David Harbour

In 2011, David Harbour portrayed shipbroker Ernest Simpson in “W.E.,” the Madonna-directed…

Jason Aldean’s Fans Aren’t Ready To Forgive Maren Morris After Spat With His Wife Brittany

Jason Aldean teased fans that he might bring out Maren Morris at…

Rebel Wilson Welcomes Baby Daughter Royce Lillian Via Surrogate: ‘A Beautiful Miracle’

Surprise! Rebel Wilson announced the birth of her first child via surrogate,…

Aqib Talib Named in $1M Civil Lawsuit over Shooting Death of Youth Football Coach

NFL player Aqib Talib has been named as a defendant in a…