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Senegal: Supporters celebrate Diomaye Faye's inauguration

Bassirou Diomaye Faye is sworn in as Senegal's president in Dakar, Senegal, Tuesday, April 2, 2024. Faye, 44, campaigned on promises to clean up corruption and better manage   -  
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Sylvain Cherkaoui/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved.


Supporters of Bassirou Diomaye Faye arrived at the Abdou Diouf International Conference Center in Diamniadio, just outside of Dakar, ahead of his inauguration as Senegal’s fifth president on Tuesday.

Faye was elected after former President Macky Sall attempted to delay elections in February, leading to deadly protests on the streets of Dakar.

Senegal’s Constitutional Court forced Sall to allow elections, which were held on March 24.

Senegalese citizen Seynabou Diop, whose son was killed during the protests, said: "I hope that this new administration clears things up for us, so that our hearts are relieved."

"Money can not replace a life, but I hope that the person responsible for my son’s death is identified and judged.”

Faye is 44, and is now the youngest democratically elected president in Africa and the youngest president in Senegal’s history.

He is popular among Senegal’s youth, who see him as a change from years of rule by a political class that was largely considered out of touch with young people’s aspirations.

Oumar Sakho, a Faye supporter who came to attend the inauguration, said “a new day begins in Senegal. The youth have waited for this."

Analysts had expected the election to go into a second round of voting, a given if no candidate could secure more than 50% of the vote. But Faye came through with a surprise win in the first round, with 54% of the votes.

“No one could have predicted what happened. This situation is the first time in Senegal that an opposition candidate rises to power with 50 and something percent [of votes], no contestations, no appeal. It’s an exceptional situation,” said Mayébé Mbaye, speaking outside the conference center.

Macky Sall’s mandate ends on April 2, so the inauguration had to be held today, less than two weeks after the presidential election.

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