Senegal's New Government Full of Fresh Faces

Prime Minister Ousmane Sonko said the government was approved by Senegal's new president, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, who promised radical reform when he was elected a few weeks ago.

Senegal's Prime Minister Ousmane Sonko named a "breakaway" government Friday, appointing 25 ministers and five junior ministers, following his landslide electoral victory in March.

The cabinet was approved by President Bassirou Diomaye Faye, who swept to a first-round victory on a promise of radical reform, becoming Senegal's youngest president last week.

Faye looks set to share responsibilities with his appointed prime minister and former mentor, Sonko, who helped propel the political newcomer to power.

On Friday, Sonko introduced his new cabinet, which includes several newcomers taking up top posts.

"The government set up here on April 5 is a breakaway government... that embodies the project, a systemic transformation voted for by the Senegalese people," he said.

Who is in Senegal's new cabinet

Birame Souleye Diop has been appointed energy minister, a strategic position in a nation that's start producing oil and gas this year.

Ousmane Diagne, a former public prosecutor at the Dakar Court of Appeal, has been named the justice minister.

The new cabinet also includes four women, who have been given the portfolios of foreign affairs, fisheries, family and youth and culture.

The 49-year-old Sonko was at the forefront of Senegal's anti-establishment movement but was barred from running for the presidential ballot due to a defamation conviction, after which he endorsed Faye.

During his campaign, Faye promised to drop the CFA franc West African common currency. He has slightly backtracked on that vow. However, this week, the former tax inspector promised an audit of the oil, gas, and mining sectors.

dvv/lo (AFP, Reuters)

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