• Mon. Jun 10th, 2024

Opposition candidate closing in on victory in Senegal elections

Byeditor

Mar 25, 2024

The anti-system candidate in Senegal, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, appeared close to a victory in the first round of the presidential elections held after years of social unrest and political crisis. Four other candidates congratulated Faye on Sunday after observing the trends in the vote count. Anta Babacar Ngom, the only female candidate, took to social media to congratulate Faye on his victory, along with Dthi Fall, Papa Djibril Fall, and Mamadou Lamine Diallo. Faye had a clear advantage over former prime minister Amadou Ba, postulated by the ruling coalition, according to initial results from voting centers.

No official results are expected until the end of the week, but hundreds of supporters gathered at Faye’s campaign headquarters to celebrate the apparent victory. Meanwhile, Ba’s headquarters had a more subdued atmosphere with a few dozen supporters. Nearly 7.3 million people were called to the polls to elect the successor of the outgoing president Macky Sall. In a country that is considered one of the most stable in the region, the candidates Ba and Faye emerged as the favorites in a field of 17 candidates.

The ruling coalition supporting Ba is certain there will be a runoff if no candidate obtains an absolute majority. The country has strong relations with the West while Russia is strengthening its position in surrounding countries. Senegal has recently experienced instability through several coups d’├ętat. The last-minute postponement of the elections initially scheduled for February led to violence and uncertainty, but the election was finally set for March 24. The campaign, reduced to two weeks in the middle of the Muslim fasting month, has been a pivotal moment in the country’s democracy.

The incumbent president did not run for re-election, leaving the field open for candidates like Ba and Faye to tackle persistent issues like poverty, unemployment, debt, and migration. The unrest in 2021 between the government and opposition has tested the country’s stability. Faye, considered the candidate of system change and left-wing Pan-Africanism, aims to bring a new era to Senegal if elected. The campaign saw numerous promises from both candidates, with a clear divide between continuity and change in leadership.

By editor

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