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44-Year-Old Opposition Candidate Wins Senegal’s Presidential Election | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

Mar 26, 2024

 

 

By Dalhatu Liman

Senegalese opposition candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye won the presidential election in a first-round ballot as former Prime Minister and ruling coalition candidate Amadou Ba conceded defeat yesterday.

Provisional results showed Faye, with about 53.7% and Ba with 36.2% based on tallies from 90% of polling stations in the first-round vote, the electoral commission said.

On Monday, ruling coalition candidate Ba, called Faye to offer his congratulations, a government spokesman told journalists.

“In light of presidential election result trends and while we await the official proclamation, I congratulate …Faye for his victory in the first round,” Ba said in a statement.

Senegal’s outgoing President Macky Sall also congratulated opposition candidate Faye as his successor on Monday, hailing “a victory for Senegalese democracy.”

Sall, who did not stand after wins in 2012 and 2019, said he “salutes the smooth running of the election” and “congratulates the winner, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, who the poll trends show as winning.”

Several opposition contenders had also conceded defeat to Faye during the night, including Anta Babacar Ngom, the only woman running.

Al Jazeera reported that Faye’s victory comes on his birthday who turned 44 yesterday (Monday) and he was behind the bars just 10 days ago.

According to Al Jazeera, he spent over eleven months in prison for a Facebook post that authorities deemed subversive.

Faye promises sweeping changes to the country.

The polls followed three years of political turbulence that sparked violent anti-government protests and buoyed support for the opposition.

Ba was the candidate backed by outgoing President Macky Sall, who is stepping down amid a drop in popularity after two terms in office marred by economic hardship.

Faye was thrust into the centre of Senegalese politics more than a week after he was released from prison along with his mentor Ousmane Sonko, who was disqualified from standing in the election because of a defamation conviction.

He has not spoken publicly since he cast his vote. He owes much of his success to the backing of Sonko.

However, the electoral commission has not yet communicated on the tallies counted as last night out of 15,633 voting stations.

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