Bassirou Diomaye Faye was born 25 March 1980 in Ndiaganiao, in the western department of M’Bour, Senegal.


Faye 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. He has not had any children with Absa. Faye and Sonko are close friends, even naming one of his sons Ousmane in honor of their friendship.

Education and early career

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. After graduation, Faye opted to become a tax inspector in the Tax and Estates department, where he befriended Sonko, a fellow alum from the same school. In 2014, Faye and Sonko’s relationship grew closer in the Taxes and Estates Union, created by Sonko, the leader of newly founded PASTEF. During his time at the head of the union, Faye campaigned to facilitate homeownership for tax and property agents.

Political career

Initially a guest when the party was founded, Faye swiftly ascended to become one of the most prominent figures within the party. 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. 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 his 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. 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.

  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.  Former president Abdoulaye Wade and his Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) endorsed Faye on the same day, in a boost to his chances of winning the 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. 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.  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 among Senegal’s youth will boost his campaign. Faye won the 2024 Senegalese presidential election in place of disqualified candidate Ousmane Sonko.

March 27, 2024

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