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Senegal’s Popular Opposition Figure Ousmane Sonko Is Named Prime Minister In New Government

•Sonko, an opponent of former President Macky Sall, is popular among the West African nation’s youth but was barred from the March 24 presidential election due to a defamation conviction. He denied any wrongdoing.

•Campaigning jointly under the slogan “Diomaye is Sonko,” Sonko urged supporters to vote for his top lieutenant, Faye, who ultimately won with over 54% of the vote in the first round.

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Senegal’s popular opposition figure Ousmane Sonko was named as the prime minister in the new government on Tuesday, hours after his key ally was sworn in as president.

Sonko, 49, has inspired Senegalese youth frustrated with widespread unemployment and corruption among the ruling elite. A former tax inspector, like the president, he has promised to deliver greater transparency and sovereignty for Senegal.

As in other former French colonies in West Africa, sentiment is turning against France, often seen use its ties to enrich itself at the expense of Africans.

The new president, Bassirou Diomaye, Faye was little known until Sonko named him to run in his place, and was catapulted to victory in the election held last month.

Sonko was barred from running due to a prior conviction. Supporters maintain that his legal troubles were aimed at keeping him out of the presidential race.


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