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Senegal's new president appoints Ousmane Sonko as the country's prime minister

THE new president of Senegal, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, on Tuesday named the leader of the biggest opposition party as his prime minister.

Hours after his inauguration as president, Mr Faye named his mentor Ousmane Sonko as the west African nation’s new prime minister.

Both were released from prison just days before the March elections through an amnesty granted by the outgoing president Macky Sall.

Mr Sonko was the original opposition candidate for the presidency but was arrested and ruled ineligible to stand for the post — a move that sparked major protests across the country.

Rights groups said that dozens had been killed and about 1,000 were jailed.

During campaigning, both men outlined radical political and economic reforms, including national reconciliation after months of turmoil sparked by their jailing.

In his inauguration speech on Tuesday, President Faye said that Senegal would become a country of hope with a strengthened democracy.

He remembered those killed and arrested during the protests and promised to deliver greater sovereignty for Senegal while working to build prosperity.

The new president said: “I am aware that the results of the elections express a profound desire for systemic change. 

“Through my election, the Senegalese people have committed to building a sovereign, just and prosperous Senegal in a progressing Africa.”

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