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Opposition Leader Faye Inches Closer to Victory in Senegal’s Presidential Polls 

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Early results from yesterday’s presidential elections in Senegal suggest an early lead for opposition candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye although the ruling party candidate has stated that the elections are most likely heading for a runoff.

According to Reuters, at least five of the 19 candidates have issued messages congratulating Faye on his prospective victory as results from the Sunday Polls trickled in.

Thousands of Senegalese citizens mostly the youth have taken to the streets to celebrate the early lead of 44 year old Faye who was firmly backed by the youth leading up to the polls.

The ruling party’s candidate Amadou Ba, a former prime minister has said that the celebration where premature as the results from the polls are far from concluded.

  • “For our part and considering the feedback of the results from our team of experts, we are certain that, in the worst-case scenario, we will go to a run-off,” Ba’s campaign said in a statement.

Peaceful Elections 

About 7.3 million were registered to vote in a country of about 18 million. According to state television RTS, the turnout for the elections was around 71%.

Voters had the choice of 19 contenders to replace Macky Sall whose two-term was marred by unrest over perceived plans to extend his tenure beyond the constitutional limit and the arrest and suppression of opposing voices including firebrand opposition leader Ousmane Sonko.

Millions of Senegalese citizens took part in Sunday’s election which was quite smooth and peaceful recording no negative incident.

The first set of results counted live on TV showed Faye leading in the polls. This sparked wild jubilation in the streets of Dakar as supporters of Faye gathered in Sonko’s neighborhood setting off fireworks and blowing vuvuzelas.

It was not clear how many of the 15,633 polling stations have been counted so far.

What you need to know

  • Despite the jubilations and the Congratulatory messages pouring in for Bassirou Diomaye Faye the ruling party’s candidate Amadou Ba has stated that he believes the elections are heading for a runoff.
  • Final provisional results are expected by Tuesday. A second round of voting will only take place if no candidate secures the more than 50% majority required to prevent a runoff.
  • Faye if elected has promised to tackle the economic stranglehold of French interests over the West African country.

 


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