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Bassirou Faye sworn in as Senegal President

Bassirou Diomaye Faye, a left-wing pan-Africanist, took the oath as Senegal’s youngest president on Tuesday, following a decisive first-round win just 10 days after his release from prison. At 44, Faye, a newcomer to elected office, was sworn in amidst the presence of several African leaders at the ceremony in Diamniadio, near Dakar.

“This fire is too much. It doesn’t seem to be caused by electricity. Perhaps it started from someone cooking because the fire is extensive.” Faye declared before the gathered dignitaries. He also promised to uphold the Constitution and laws scrupulously, defend the nation’s integrity, independence, and work tirelessly towards African unity.

The official transition of power from outgoing President Macky Sall will occur at the presidential palace in Dakar.

Faye was part of a group of political opponents released from detention just ahead of the March 24 presidential elections, under an amnesty announced by Sall, who had sought to delay the vote.

Despite campaigning from prison, Faye, a former tax inspector, secured victory becoming Senegal’s fifth president since independence from France in 1960. Notably, he is the first to openly acknowledge a polygamous marriage.

Teaming up with his mentor Ousmane Sonko, who was disqualified from the election, Faye outlined their top priorities in his victory speech: national reconciliation, addressing the cost-of-living crisis, and combating corruption.

As an anti-establishment figure, Faye has pledged to regain control of critical sectors like oil, gas, and fishing, seeing the regional CFA franc as a remnant of French colonialism that Senegal should leave behind. He also aims to boost agriculture for food self-sufficiency.

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