The New Senegalese President Elect Bassirou Diomaye Faye Two Wives


One President, two first ladies. That is the dawning reality in Senegal today because a polygamous man, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, is the country’s president-elect after Sunday’s elections. He joins a tiny league of African presidents who have had more than one official wife.

Senegal’s Constitutional Council has confirmed the presidential election victory of opposition candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye. The confirmation on Friday paves the way for his inauguration as the country’s fifth president, which is expected to take place on April 2.

Faye is polygamous and has two wives: Marie Khone Faye and Absa Faye. Marie Khone is a close relative of her husband, and together they have had four children: three boys and a girl.

The 44-year-old will be inaugurated to replace Macky Sall, who ruled the West African nation for 12 years. Senegal’s Constitutional Council has confirmed the presidential election victory of opposition candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye.

The young leader contested the elections as an independent due to the dissolution of his Patriots of Senegal (PASTEF) party last July for causing unrest. The PASTEF party, which was founded by Sonko in 2014, endorsed Faye.

Senegal is a secular republic with a strong presidency, weak legislature, weak judiciary, and multiple political parties. Under the 2001 constitution, presidents serve for 5 years and are limited to two terms. Abdoulaye Wade was the last President to be elected to a 7-year term, in 2000.

Business Insider Africa presents the list of youngest presidents in Africa in 2024 under the age of 50. Bassirou Diomaye Faye, Senegal’s new president is the latest addition to this list.

More than half of its 15.4 million inhabitants live below the poverty line. Senegal was ranked 164 out of 189 countries in the 2018 Human Development Index (HDI) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Senegal is a West African country with a population of 17.3 million. The capital, Dakar, is an economic and administrative hub of the country. Senegal is one of the richest countries in Africa ranked by net worth, with total wealth in 2021 amounting to $41 billion.

The population of Senegal stood at 17.99 million in January 2024. Data shows that Senegal’s population increased by 454 thousand (+2.6 percent) between early 2023 and the start of 2024. 50.8% of Senegal’s population is female, while 49.2 percent of the population is male.

The Senegalese economy has traditionally revolved around a single cash crop, the peanut. The government, however, has worked to diversify both cash crops and subsistence agriculture by expanding into commodities such as cotton, garden produce, and sugarcane as well as by promoting nonagricultural sectors. French is the official language. Other languages spoken are Wolof, Pulaar, Serer, Diola and Mandingo.

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