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Senegal's incoming president to take office with two first ladies

In the closing moments of the electoral campaign, Senegal's president-elect Bassirou Diomaye Faye, who is due to be sworn in as the country's new leader on Tuesday, stepped onto the stage holding the hands of both his wives Marie and Absa.

It was an unprecedented sight in the national politics of the West African country and a clear choice by the first-round winner who promises radical change.

Polygamy is a traditional and religious practice firmly anchored in the culture of Senegal where the overwhelming majority is Muslim.

Marie Khone, who until now had never been in the spotlight, comes from the same village as 44-year-old Faye. They married 15 years ago and have four children.

He married his second wife Absa just over a year ago.

"It's the ultimate recognition of the tradition of polygamy at the top of the state, with a situation that will reflect Senegalese reality," sociologist Djiby Diakhate said.

Many men praise the practice while women tend to remain "mistrustful", he added.

Polygamy has long stirred controversy and the public appearance by BDF, as he is known, with his two wives at his side cheered on by thousands of his supporters has made it a top talking point in the media, online and at home, sparking diverse reaction.

"I really think that the West has no legitimacy to judge our cultures," Sarr added in a follow-up message on X.


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