Senegal poll: Bassirou Diomaye, Sonko’s protégé, said to have taken early lead

In Dakar, supporters of presidential candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye didn’t wait for official results to start celebrating late Sunday (Mar. 23).

In the hundreds of thousands, they flooded the streets of the capital relying only on early trends. 

Crowds backing the protégé’s of Ousmane Sonko gathered here at the headquarters of the Diomaye president coalition. 

“We are happy with the work that has been undertaken by the entire ‘Diomaye president coalition. This victory is the victory of the people of Senegal. The people has decided today to take their fate into his own hands,” a voter said.

“I can now see that Senegal is still a democratic country, a country governed by the rule of law tonight it is not Diomaye’s win it is Senegal’s win. It is our victory,” another voter, carrying a Senegalese flag, said.

If official results are expected within a week, some of the 17 candidates vying for the presidency have already conceded their defeat and congratulated Diomaye Faye.

Congratulations and hopes for a run-off vote

Some 7.3 million Senegalese were registered to vote.

Vote counting began in the early evening in a tense atmosphere in some parts of the country. In St. Louis, a major fishing town, a crowd booed and threw stones at a government delegation that entered a polling station after the polls closed. 

The supporters of ruling party candidate Amadou Bou hope and expect a run-off.

Ba himself, a former Prime minister and Economy minister said he will give his assessment of the results of the ballot box by midday Monday (Mar. 25).

Nafissatou Diallo, a member of the party of former president Abdoulaye Wade called on Ba to congratulate Diomaye.

“I’m here to call on Amadou Ba to call the president-elect; the president elected by the people of Senegal with an overwhelming majority in the first round. I call on Ba to stand by Senegal’s noble republican tradition. It is irreversible: Bassirou Diomaye has been elected president of the Republic.”

At the headquarters of the ‘Diomaye president’ coalition and elsewhere in the country such as in Ziguinchor, a stronghold of the opposition, supporters of the candidate converged to celebrate what they believe is their victory.

According to them, the preliminary trends cannot be disputed, and they believe a run-off election is simply unconceivable.

At the forefront of concerns for many Senegalese voters is the economy, which has been squeezed by high food and energy prices partly driven by the war in Ukraine. Almost a third of Senegal’s youth are unemployed, according to the independent researcher Afrobarometer, driving thousands to risk their lives on dangerous journeys in search of jobs in the West.

Source: AfricaNews

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