Senegal President Faye appoints ally Sonko as prime minister

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New Senegalese President Bassirou Diomaye Faye on Tuesday appointed firebrand politician and key backer Ousmane Sonko as prime minister in his first act as president


Sonko, an opponent of former President Macky Sall, is popular among the West African nation’s youth but was barred from the March 24 presidential election due to a defamation conviction. 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 over 54% of the vote in the first round.

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


Ousmane Sonko speaking to journalists after casting his ballot at a polling station in Ziguinchor, Senegal, on 24 March 2024 during the Senegalese presidential election. AFP – MUHAMADOU BITTAYE

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

“I measure the importance of the trust he (President Faye) has placed in me,” Ousmane Sonko told the Senegalese public media RTS, thanking him and guaranteeing his “loyalty” and “dedication”.

Faye’s campaign was launched whilst he and Sonko were still in detention.

They were part of a group of political opponents freed from prison ten days before the 24 March presidential poll under an amnesty announced by Sall, a month after the latter had tried to delay the vote.

Both Faye and Sonko are practising Muslims from humble backgrounds, representing a new generation of youthful politicians.