Senegal is set to enter a historic phase as president-elect Bassirou Diomaye Faye takes over office with confusion over which of his two wives will assume the first lady's office.

The president-elect is married to two women, one a Christian and the other a Muslim, Marie and Absa.

PHOTO | COURTESY  president-elect Bassirou Diomaye Faye and his two wives

It was an unusual spectacle in West African national politics, and the first-round winner made a clear decision that promised drastic change.

Polygamy is a cultural and religious practice that is deeply ingrained in Senegal's society, where Muslims make up the vast majority.

Marie Khone, who has never been in the spotlight, is from the same hamlet as 44-year-old Faye. They were married 15 years ago and had four children.

He married his second wife, Absa, a little 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," Diakhate, a sociologist, said.

Many men admire the approach, but women are "mistrustful," he said.

PHOTO | COURTESY president-elect Bassirou Diomaye Faye 

Polygamy has long been fraught with controversy, and BDF's public presence with his two wives at his side, cheered on by hundreds of his admirers, has made it a hot topic in the media, online, and at home, eliciting a wide range of reactions.

In response to opponents, the new president, who won 54.28 percent of the vote on March 24, expresses nothing but satisfaction in his family circumstances.

"I have beautiful children because I have wonderful wives. They are very beautiful. I give thanks to God they are always fully behind me," he said during the presidential race.