Senegal’s Post-election: Who Is Basirou Diomaye Faye?



The post-election atmosphere looks relatively calm, as Senegalese awaits the final declaration of results. Basirou Diomaye Faye secured 54% of the votes, whilst his main contender Amadou Bah secured 35%

 


WHO IS BASIROU DIOMAYE FAYE?

Bassirou Diomaye Faye (born 25 March 1980 in Ndiaganiao, in the western department of Mbour Senegal. is a Senegalese politician and former tax inspector who is the president-elect of Senegal He is the former general secretary of dissolved PASTEF and won the 2024 Senegalese presidential election in place of disqualified candidate Ousmane Sonko

In 2000, Faye earned his baccalaureate. He successfully attained a master's degree in law and subsequently cleared both competitive exams, enrolling at the National School of Administration (ENA) and the magistracy in 2004.


Political career


Initially a guest when the party was founded, Faye swiftly ascended to become one of the most prominent figures within the party.[1] He would go on to become one of the ideologues and designers of Sonko's program for his candidacy in the 2019 Senegalese presidential election. Sonko gained almost 16% of the vote and came third.[2] In February 2021, Faye became the general secretary of PASTEF after Sonko was arrested, being accused of repeated rape by a massage parlor employee. As part of its strategy to win power, Faye attempted to unite the opposition for the 2022 elections, winning 56 seats under the alliance Liberate the People.


Presidential campaign


After uncertainty over the possibility of Sonko being a candidate in the presidential election, PASTEF endorsed Faye in November 2023 as its candidate for the 2024 presidential election, despite him being detained. However, PASTEF had been dissolved several months earlier, meaning he was running as an independent.[3] On 20 January 2024, the Senegalese Constitutional Council published the final list of candidates for the presidential election and Sonko did not appear there after several legal battles. Faye's candidacy was validated because he was never convicted although remaining detained. Sonko quickly announced his support to Faye for the election.


On 15 March 2024, a day after Faye's release from jail, he gathered hundreds of supporters at his first public appearance as a presidential contender.[5] Former president Abdoulaye Wade and his Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) endorsed Faye on the same day, in a boost to his chances of winning election. The move came after PDS candidate, Karim Wade, was disqualified from contesting the race because he was a dual citizen at the time he submitted his candidacy.[6] Cheikh Tidiane Dieye, another candidate in the presidential election, withdrew in favor of Faye.


During the presidential campaign, he has promised to create jobs, campaigned strongly against corruption, and vowed to reexamine energy contracts.[8] He is running under the slogan "Diomaye mooy Ousmane", which means "Diomaye is Ousmane" in Wolof, and is hoping Sonko's charisma and popular appeal amongst Senegal's youth will boost his campaign.[9] Faye's program is similar with Sonko's for 2019.


Imprisonment and release


On 14 April 2023, Faye was apprehended as he exited his tax and property office on Rue de Thiong in Dakar. Subsequently, he was placed under police custody for charges including "spreading false news, contempt of court, and defamation of a constituted body" following a social media post he made. In this post, he denounced the perceived injustice within the judicial system, foreseeing a verdict that could potentially disqualify Sonko in a legal dispute between PASTEF and the Minister of Tourism, Mame Mbaye Niang. As the situation progressed, additional charges of "incitement to insurrection" and "undermining state security" were brought against him, resulting in an indefinite period of detention.


After an attempt by incumbent president Macky Sall in February to postpone the elections citing unresolved disputes over who could run, widespread protests occurred and the Constitutional Council overturned the postponement. In response to the protests and overturn Sall said that he would leave office as scheduled on 2 April, setting the date on March. He also expressed his willingness to release Sonko, Faye and all their supporters as an act of good faith. In the end of February, the government tabled an amnesty bill to calm the social and political climate. Several hundred political prisoners were released by the government. and on 14 March, days before the election, Sonko and Faye were released from prison.

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