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Faye Officially Declared Winner of Senegal’s Presidential Election

Following the conclusion of collation of votes, Mr Diomaye Faye has officially been declared winner of the presidential election in Senegal, winning 54.28% of votes in the first round.

Reports from the country’s vote counting commission, which falls under the judiciary, stated that Faye placed well ahead of the governing coalition’s candidate, former prime minister Amadou Ba, who had 35.79% of the votes.

The victory for Faye, who was only freed from prison 10 days before the election, still has to be validated by Senegal’s top constitutional body, which could happen in a few days.

Faye, 44, who has said he wants a “break” with the current political system, is set to become the youngest president in Senegal’s history.

It would be the first time since independence from France in 1960 that an opponent has won in the first round.

Aliou Mamadou Dia, who came third out of 19 candidates officially on the list, won just 2.8 percent of the vote, according to figures read out at the Dakar court by the president of the national vote counting commission, Amady Diouf.

While his victory in Sunday’s vote was already clear after the publication of unofficial partial results, the margin of Faye’s win was confirmed by the vote counting commission, which falls under the judiciary.

The turnout of 61.30 percent was less than in 2019 when outgoing President Macky Sall won a second term in the first-round, but more than in 2012.

The announcement of the official provisional results seems to clear the way for a handover of power between Sall and his successor.

The political crisis triggered by Sall’s last-minute postponement of the vote, and the subsequently rushed electoral timetable, cast doubt on whether the handover could take place before the incumbent’s term officially ends on April 2.

But a swift handover now seems feasible in the West African nation, which prides itself on its stability and democratic principles in a coup-hit region, provided no appeals are made.

Presidential candidates have 72 hours after the results are announced by the commission to lodge an appeal with the Constitutional Council.

The Constitution states that if no appeals are made in this period, “the Council shall immediately proclaim the final results of the ballot”.

But if an objection is made, the Council has five days to rule and could, in theory, annul the election.

Faye, who has never before held elected office, is set to become the fifth president of the West African country of around 18 million people.

His fellow presidential candidates, and Sall, have recognised his victory.

Sunday’s election was preceded by three years of tension and deadly unrest, with Senegal plunged into a fresh political crisis in February when Sall decided to delay the presidential poll.

Dozens have been killed and hundreds arrested since 2021, with the country’s democratic credentials coming under scrutiny.

Faye himself was detained for months before his release in the middle of the election campaign.

International observers hailed the smooth running of Sunday’s vote.

The African Union’s observation mission commended the “political and democratic maturity of the Senegalese people (and) the generally peaceful political atmosphere of the presidential election”.

Faye has promised to restore national “sovereignty” and implement a programme of “left-wing pan-Africanism”.

His election could herald a profound overhaul of Senegal’s institutions.

On Monday he pledged “to govern with humility, with transparency, and to fight corruption at all levels”.

He said he would prioritise “national reconciliation”, “rebuilding institutions” and “significantly reducing the cost of living”.

But he also sought to reassure foreign partners.

Senegal “will remain a friendly country and a sure and reliable ally for any partner that engages with us in virtuous, respectful and mutually productive cooperation,” he pledged.

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Posted by on Mar 28 2024. Filed under Africa & World Politics, Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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