Africa's youngest president takes workplace, guarantees 'systemic change'


Younger folks in Senegal, nonetheless reeling from a stormy marketing campaign, threw jackets over their worn-out election T-shirts on Tuesday to attend the inauguration ceremony of an opposition politician who went from political prisoner to president in lower than three weeks. turned.

Their new chief, Bassirou Diomaye Faye – at 44, Africa's youngest elected president – ​​took the oath of workplace promising “systemic change” and following years of West African management killed, wounded and jailed. Paid tribute to many individuals. Nation's election.

“I’ll all the time bear in mind the big sacrifices made in order that I’ll by no means allow you to down,” Mr Faye mentioned, addressing an enormous viewers. Wherein African heads of state and dignitaries had been sitting on the forefront. From behind, lots of of supporters of Mr Faye and his highly effective backer, opposition chief Ousmane Sonko, started shouting with pleasure.

It was the fruits of months of drama, when former President Macky Sall had canceled the election inside weeks, citing irregularities within the Constitutional Council – after which, below intense home and worldwide stress, lastly agreed to carry it. .

Mr. Sall's chosen candidate was soundly defeated by Mr. Faye, a tax inspector and political novice, who obtained greater than 54 % of the vote, regardless of having solely 10 days of freedom to marketing campaign. He was jailed on fees of defamation and contempt of court docket, and was awaiting trial when Mr. Sall introduced the adoption of the amnesty regulation and was launched.

“You might be Senegal's uncontested and shining selection,” mentioned Mamadou Badiou Camara, president of the Constitutional Council, who presided over the inauguration.

However Mr Faye was not the one politician Senegal successfully supported. Mr Sonko, the person whose assist helped Mr Faye get elected, was sitting within the second row.

At key moments in Tuesday's ceremony his supporters shouted, “Thanks, Sonko, thanks.”

Mr Sonko, till now Senegal's most distinguished opposition chief, was in jail till three weeks in the past on fees of defamation and “corruption of the youth” in relation to allegations made by a younger therapeutic massage parlor worker that he was ousted from the presidency. Was stopped from working.

When he was launched, he instantly set out on the marketing campaign path with Mr. Faye, telling his supporters {that a} vote for Mr. Faye was a vote for them.

Mr Faye made no point out of Mr Sonko in his speech, who stored a low profile carrying a black cap and tunic. However Mr. Sonko was a relentless presence. He befriended African presidents who had been ready for the ceremony to start in an antechamber of a convention heart in Diamantio, a brand new metropolis nonetheless below development and Mr. Sall's pet challenge.

Then, within the hangar-like room the place Mr. Faye can be sworn in, Mr. Sonko took his place within the second row, proper behind the 2 first women – the wives of the polygamous new president. And Mr Sonko received the largest pleasure of the day each time his face appeared on the large display screen on the entrance of the auditorium.

There have been additionally massive cheers for the army president of Guinea and representatives of Mali and Burkina Faso, three West African international locations whose governments had been overthrown in coups in recent times and are actually dominated by juntas. The rhetoric of these juntas – centered on the sovereignty of France, the previous colonial energy that many West Africans regard as persevering with to intrude of their affairs – mirrors the rhetoric of Mr Sonko and Mr Faye.

“The youth of Senegal are connecting with the youth of these international locations on these problems with sovereignty,” the president's uncle, additionally named Diomay Faye, mentioned in an interview Tuesday.

Mr Faye and Mr Sonko have promised to depart or change the phrases the CFA, the regional forex backed by France, and renegotiating Senegal's contracts with foreign-owned firms to extract newly found oil and fuel.

In his speech, Mr. Faye confused that Senegal would stay open to relations with different international locations that “respect our sovereignty, are in keeping with the aspirations of our folks, and are in mutually profitable partnerships.”

After taking oath, a convoy took him to Rashtrapati Bhavan. Final week, Mr Sall welcomed him and his former arch rival Mr Sonko for a decent however agency pleasant assembly – official photographs of which had been later launched to the media.

On Tuesday, Mr Sall, the two-time president who served for 12 years, as soon as once more welcomed Mr Faye, who arrived this time accompanied by the Presidential Guard.

After sitting and speaking for some time and handing over vital paperwork, Mr. Sall received right into a Toyota, and drove out of the palace gate and drove away ceaselessly.

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