Photo Credit: Bloomberg

Senegal’s newly inaugurated President, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, has appointed firebrand politician Ousmane Sonko as the country’s prime minister, marking his first official act in office.

President Faye made the announcement shortly after taking the oath of office on Tuesday, signaling a decisive break from the past and a commitment to transformative change following years of turmoil under his predecessor, Macky Sall, a political adversary of Sonko.

Addressing the media after his appointment, Prime Minister Sonko emphasized his dedication to supporting President Faye in shouldering the responsibilities of leadership. He pledged to present a comprehensive list of proposed ministerial appointments for the president’s approval, underscoring their collaborative approach to governance.

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

The swearing-in ceremony of President Faye took place amidst a backdrop of grandeur, with hundreds of dignitaries and several African heads of state in attendance at an exhibition center in the new town of Diamniadio, near the capital city of Dakar.

At 44 years old, President Faye, a newcomer to elected office, secured a resounding victory in the first round of elections, capturing the public’s imagination with promises of radical reform barely 10 days after his release from prison.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sonko, aged 49, emerged as a prominent figure during a two-year standoff with the state, which sparked sporadic violence. Despite being disqualified from running in the presidential race due to a defamation conviction, Sonko rallied support behind President Faye, his chosen successor, under the campaign slogan “Diomaye is Sonko.” This strategic alliance culminated in President Faye’s decisive victory, garnering over 54 percent of the vote in the first round.