Senegal election outcomes: Who’s Diomaye Faye, tipped to be subsequent president? | Elections Information

Senegal election outcomes: Who’s Diomaye Faye, tipped to be subsequent president? | Elections Information

Early outcomes from Sunday’s presidential elections in Senegal present opposition candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye is within the lead, prompting his supporters to have fun on the streets of the capital Dakar amid hope the brand new administration will deal with persistent poverty and corruption.

The governing coalition’s candidate, former Prime Minister Amadou Ba, on Monday conceded defeat to Faye hours after saying he was prepared for a run-off vote. A candidate requires greater than 50 p.c of votes to forestall a run-off.

The electoral physique has but to launch particulars in regards to the outcomes as vote counting is beneath method. Official outcomes are anticipated to be introduced within the coming days.

Right here is extra about presidential candidate Faye and what the outcomes could imply for the way forward for Senegal’s democracy.

Who’s Bassirou Diomaye Faye?

Faye has been thrust into the centre of Senegalese politics greater than every week after he was launched from jail alongside together with his firebrand mentor Ousmane Sonko, who was disqualified from standing within the election due to a defamation conviction.

The 44-year-old chief contested the elections as an impartial because of the dissolution of his Patriots of Senegal (PASTEF) occasion final July for inflicting unrest. The PASTEF occasion, which was based by Sonko in 2014, endorsed Faye.

The left-wing populist has been organising protests in opposition to President Macky Sall accusing his authorities of corruption and failing to deal with power poverty. Sall’s resolution to increase the elections initially scheduled for February triggered the newest spherical of political disaster.

The elections have been held after the intervention of the Constitutional Court docket.

Faye was born in 1980 in west-central Senegal’s Ndiaganiao. He met Sonko whereas working as a tax inspector within the authorities’s taxes and estates division, the place they have been instrumental within the formation of a union.

Why was Faye in jail?

In April 2023, Faye was arrested on prices together with spreading false information, contempt of courtroom and defamation of a constituted physique, for a social media submit.

Sonko was arrested on a number of prices in July 2023 together with frightening rebel, conspiring with “terrorist” teams, endangering state safety and immoral behaviour in the direction of people youthful than 21.

Faye, alongside Sonko, was launched late on March 14, days earlier than the vote, after an amnesty regulation was handed this month.

What are his insurance policies?

Faye, a former tax inspector, has pledged to weed out corruption, restore stability and prioritise financial sovereignty, interesting to the city youth annoyed by unemployment within the West African nation the place 60 p.c of the inhabitants is beneath 25.

He desires to rid Senegal of the CFA franc inherited from the colonial period, which is pegged to the euro. He proposes introducing a brand new forex as an alternative. The CFA franc, backed by the French treasury, is accepted in 14 member international locations.

Moreover, he needs to renegotiate mining and hydrocarbon contracts. The nation is anticipated to begin hydrocarbon manufacturing this yr.

The most important problem for the brand new chief can be to deal with the greater than 20 p.c unemployment price.

“It’s an injustice that I can’t discover work. I used to be given a state diploma and the state can’t discover work for me,” Yacoub Diouf from Senegal advised Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque.

Who have been the opposite candidates within the fray?

Nineteen candidates have been within the fray to switch outgoing President Sall, who has been in energy since 2012. Sall’s second time period was marred by political unrest over the prosecution of Sonko.

The second-place Amadou Ba was backed by Sall. Victory for Ba, 62, would have meant a continuation of the earlier authorities’s coverage.

Different candidates included former Prime Minister Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne, who dubbed himself the “president of reconciliation”, and the two-time mayor of Dakar, Khalifa Sall, who was working for the fourth time and has already congratulated Faye.

Al Jazeera’s Haque reported that girls who contribute largely to the nation’s tertiary trade are a major voter demographic. Nevertheless, the one feminine candidate was entrepreneur and political newcomer Anta Babacar Ngom, who runs Senegal’s largest poultry firm. Ngom has already wished Faye success because the chief of Senegal in an X submit.

In July 2023, Sall introduced that he wouldn’t contest the election for a 3rd time period following deep political unrest, iterating that Senegal’s structure would have allowed him to. Sonko had known as for Sall to bow out of this election, accusing him of cracking down on the opposition to sideline competitors. Sall was topic to additional controversy after he delayed the election that was initially set for February 25.

Time period limits have been a hotly debated matter in Senegal for the previous twenty years. When former President Abdoulaye Wade got here to energy in 2000, the structure didn’t have time period limits. Wade amended it in 2001 to impose a two-term restrict. Nevertheless, to increase his personal time in workplace, Wade efficiently campaigned for a 3rd time period, incomes the approval of Senegal’s highest courtroom.

At the least seven of the 19 candidates within the race have issued statements congratulating Faye on his win.

Round 71 p.c of the 7.3 million registered voters confirmed as much as the polls, in keeping with state tv RTS.

On Tuesday, last provisional outcomes are anticipated. Official outcomes could also be introduced by Friday.

What might the outcomes imply for the way forward for Senegal’s democracy?

A victory for Faye is an effective signal for democracy in Senegal, stated Alioune Tine, founding father of the think-tank Afrikajom Heart and Amnesty Worldwide’s former regional director for West and Central Africa.

“Democracy was sick with political violence, with state violence, with dying,” Tine advised Al Jazeera, referring to the political violence of the previous few years. He added that Sonko being unable to contest elections additional confirmed that democracy was sick.

“However he [Sonko] had the sensible thought of nominating his quantity two to be a candidate,” he stated.

Tine added {that a} optimistic facet of Senegal’s democracy is that since independence, it has by no means allowed a army coup, not like different West African international locations the place political crises have amounted to coups.

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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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