Until recently he was in prison – now he is the president of Senegal and for the first time since the crisis meetings in November he has two first ladies Biden and Xi on the phone

Until recently he was in prison – now he is the president of Senegal and for the first time since the crisis meetings in November he has two first ladies Biden and Xi on the phone
epa11255377 Recently sworn-in Senegalese President Bassirou Diomaye Faye (C), stands with his wives Marie, (R) and Absa (L) during his inauguration ceremony at the Abdou Diouf International Convention C...
In Senegal, the country’s youngest president to date has taken the oath of office. He is the first head of state to officially have two first ladies.
Laura Mielke / t-online

In Senegal, the country’s youngest president yet took the oath of office, promising “systemic change” in his inaugural speech. Since the country’s independence from France in 1960, Faye is the first opposition candidate to be confirmed in the first round of voting. And he is the first head of state to officially present two first ladies to the people.

At his latest campaign event, Muslim Faye, who often wears traditional white attire, appeared with his two wives Marie and Absa in front of thousands of cheering supporters. This is the first time that polygamy, which is deeply rooted in Senegalese culture, has been openly practiced by a head of state.

Polygamy “completely new” in the presidential palace

The Muslim woman has been married to Christian Marie Khone Faye since 2009. They have four children together. He has been married to Muslim Absa Faye since last year. Polygamy is deeply rooted in the Muslim country, but his public involvement with his two wives has so far been unusual. So far there has been only one First Lady, said former Culture Minister Penda Mbow. The marriage situation is “completely new” in the presidential palace and “the entire protocol needs to be revised.”

Faye clearly won the presidential elections in the West African country on March 24. Senegal is facing a major political turning point. During the election campaign, Faye described himself as a “candidate for systemic change” and as a representative of “left-wing Pan-Africanism”. The 44-year-old also pledged to distribute income from the country’s rich resource reserves more fairly.

Faye’s election could now herald a profound transformation of the country’s institutions. For example, the new president plans to renegotiate contracts on oil reserves and fishing. Faye also said he was not afraid to abandon the CFA franc as the national currency, which is common in West Africa and which he sees as a French colonial legacy. Senegal needs to invest more in agriculture so that it can be self-sufficient in the future.

Faye was in prison shortly before the elections

At the same time, he assured potential investors that Senegal would “remain a friendly country and a safe and reliable ally for any partner” committed to “mutually productive cooperation.”

One of Faye’s objectives is to convince the military-ruled states of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to rejoin the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas). In January, the Sahel states accused the alliance of being “under the influence of foreign powers” ​​– referring to former colonial power France – and declared their withdrawal and increasingly turned to Russia.

Faye comes from a modest background and grew up in a farming family. He is also said to be a great admirer of former American president Barack Obama and the anti-apartheid fighter Nelson Mandela.

Faye was released from prison just ten days before the presidential election. After criticizing the judiciary, he was imprisoned for various crimes, including contempt of court. His campaign began while he was in prison. Faye is supported by his mentor, Ousmane Sonko, who was excluded from the elections. Former tax inspector Faye, commonly referred to as ‘Diomaye’, has never held elected office before. People still flocked to events during the joint campaign tour with Sonko, shouting: “Sonko is Diomaye, Diomaye is Sonko.”

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Amelia

Amelia

I am Amelia James, a passionate journalist with a deep-rooted interest in current affairs. I have more than five years of experience in the media industry, working both as an author and editor for 24 Instant News. My main focus lies in international news, particularly regional conflicts and political issues around the world.

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