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Senegal’s President Faye Names Sonko as Prime Minister

Senegal Denies Opposition Leader Sonko Access to Sponsorship Forms

The newly elected President of Senegal Bassirou Diomaye Faye named his mentor and opposition arrowhead Ousmane Sonko as prime minister, a few hours after being sworn in on Monday.

The dissident Ousmane Sonko, who was the former mayor of Ziguinchor was with Faye in prison, a few weeks to the presidential polls, before they were both freed.

According to Oumar Samba Ba, the general secretary of the presidency, “Mr Ousmane Sonko is named prime minister,” this was announced in a decree aired on the state television station Radio Television Senegalaise, RTS.

Last month’s election established Senegal’s standing as a stable democracy in West Africa, a region recently rocked by coups and counter-coups. Both Faye and Sonko were released from prison less than two weeks before the polls following a political amnesty announced by outgoing President Macky Sall.

Their arrests sparked months of demonstrations across major streets while there were fears that Sall would seek a third term in office despite term limits.

Rights groups said dozens were killed and about 1,000 were incarcerated. In his first speech as president, Faye remembered those killed and arrested during the protests and promised to deliver greater sovereignty for Senegal while working to boost the wealth of the nation.

Although Sall eventually ruled out plans to run for a third term, he abruptly postponed the election in February with only weeks to go, triggering another round of protests. That move was rejected by the country’s constitutional court.

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