Bassirou Diomaye Faye sworn in as Senegal’s new president

At his swearing-in, Faye vows ‘to spare no effort for the achievement of African unity.’

Bassirou Diomaye Faye was sworn into office Tuesday as Senegal’s new president following last month’s presidential election.

Faye swore to faithfully fulfill the duties of the office of president of Senegal, to observe as well as to scrupulously observe the provisions of the Constitution and the laws as well as to devote all his “forces to defending the constitutional institutions, territorial integrity and national independence,” and to “spare no effort for the achievement of African unity.”

Attending the swearing-in near the capital Dakar were African leaders such as Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani, and African Union Commission Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat, as well as representatives from the US and Europe.

After being declared the winner of the March 24 presidential election, Faye is set to rule for a six-year term as the West African country’s fifth president since it gained independence from France in 1960,

Faye, 44, won the tightly contested poll after beating 17 candidates, including former Prime Minister Amadou Ba, campaigning on promises to fight corruption among other issues.

In his first post-election speech, Faye pledged to advance Africa’s political and economic integration, govern with humility and transparency, and ensure national reconciliation.

Faye and his political mentor Ousmane Sonko, who was barred from the race due to a defamation conviction, were released from prison under an amnesty law 10 days ahead of the election. He had been imprisoned following an online post criticizing the Senegalese justice system in connection with Sonko’s case.

Faye served as secretary general of the political party Patriots of Senegal for Work, Ethics and Fraternity, which was dissolved by the government last year.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday spoke with Faye by telephone and underlined the US’ keen interest in deepening the partnership between their two countries, according to the State Department.

Analysts said Faye could help bring the military-led countries of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger back into the regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc.

Senegal witnessed mass protests earlier this year after President Macky Sall announced the postponement of the election, citing a dispute over the candidate list and alleged corruption of constitutional judges.

The Senegalese Constitutional Council later annulled the postponement.


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