the president chooses Ousmane Sonko to lead the government – ​​L’Express

the president chooses Ousmane Sonko to lead the government –

The left-wing pan-Africanist Bassirou Diomaye Faye appointed, this Tuesday, April 2, the key figure of his election Ousmane Sonko to the post of Prime Minister, promising “systemic change”, sovereignty and appeasement, by becoming the fifth president of Senegal, according to a presidential decree.

“Mr Ousmane Sonko is appointed Prime Minister”, indicates this decree read by the Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic Oumar Samba Bâ on public television (RTS). “I measure the importance of the trust that he (President Faye) has placed in my person,” declared on RTS Ousmane Sonko, 49, who had proposed the candidacy of Bassirou Diomaye Faye after the invalidation of the his. He announced the formation “in the coming hours” of a new government.

The president took the oath

A few hours earlier, the new President Faye, 44, confident in his words and appearance in a blue suit and tie, had taken the oath of office in front of hundreds of Senegalese officials and several heads of state and African leaders at the Exhibition Center in the new town of Diamniadio, near Dakar.

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Then he returned to the capital, a horse guard opening the way for his procession of cars between hundreds of Dakar residents who came to greet him along the roads leading to the gates of the presidential palace. There, his predecessor Macky Sall, after brief and cordial greetings, symbolically handed him the key to the seat of the presidency before going through the gates in the opposite direction.

Bassirou Diomaye Faye, never elected before, becomes the West African country’s youngest president since independence in 1960, less than three weeks after being released from prison. After three years of tensions and a final pre-electoral crisis in 2024, his advent accepted by all at the end of an express campaign “is almost a miracle”, said the president of the Constitutional Council Mamadou Badio Camara before receiving his oath. With his right hand raised, Bassirou Diomaye Faye swore, “before God and before the Senegalese Nation, to faithfully fulfill the office of President of the Republic of Senegal.”

Breaking promise

In a brief speech, Bassirou Diomaye Faye said he was “aware” that his large victory in the first round of the presidential election on March 24 expressed “a deep desire for systemic change”. “Senegal under my leadership will be a country of hope, a peaceful country with independent justice and a strengthened democracy,” he said.

READ ALSO: Presidential election in Senegal: the failed exit of Macky Sall

Bassirou Diomaye Faye succeeds for five years Macky Sall, 62, who led the country of 18 million inhabitants for 12 years and maintained strong relations with the West and France while diversifying partnerships. The past three years have been marked by unrest, leading to dozens of deaths and hundreds of arrests.

The promise of rupture, the anointing of the popular Ousmane Sonko, present in the front rows on Tuesday, and the apparent humility of this personality from a modest and educated background led him to a resounding victory with 54.28% of the votes. voice.

Bassirou Diomaye Faye, a senior official in the tax administration, who discreetly rose through the ranks in the shadow of Ousmane Sonko, has set out the reduction in the cost of living, the fight against corruption and national reconciliation as his priorities. Bassirou Diomaye Faye’s program states his intention to exit the CFA franc, to renegotiate or reconsider contracts with foreign companies for the exploitation of oil and gas which should begin this year, as well as mining and fishing agreements.

Political and social front

Bassirou Diomaye Faye, a practicing Muslim, married to two women present at his inauguration and father of four children, embodies a new generation of politicians. An admirer of former American President Barack Obama and the South African hero of the anti-apartheid struggle Nelson Mandela, he calls himself a “left-wing” pan-Africanist.

READ ALSO: Senegal: the slow authoritarian drift of President Macky Sall

He wants to work for the return, in the Community of West African States ECOWAS, of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, Sahelian countries confronted with jihadism and led by juntas which broke with France and turned towards Russia. The coup regimes of Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea sent their representatives to Diamniadio, including the Guinean president, General Mamadi Doumbouya.

The head of the Burkinabè military regime, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, congratulated Bassirou Diomaye Faye, “symbol of a new era for an uninhibited, free and sovereign Africa”. He said on X that he was ready to work with him on “the renovation of sub-regional and international cooperation”. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres welcomed this inauguration, “testimony of the Senegalese fight for the right to vote”, said his spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric.

Brought to power by the desire for change, Bassirou Diomaye Faye is particularly expected on employment, in a country where 75% of the population is under 35 and where the unemployment rate is officially 20%, pushing young people, more and more people are fleeing poverty and undertaking a perilous journey to Europe.