Senegal President's Camp Claims Election Win, Opposition Objects

Senegalese people vote.
25 February 2019

The outcome of the first round of the presidential vote in the West African country is unclear. Hours after opposition figures had said a second round vote would be necessary, a presidential ally said Macky Sall had won.

Senegal's prime minister has claimed that President Macky Sall was re-elected in a first round vote on Sunday, hours after the opposition suggested that no candidate had won an outright majority.

Prime Minister Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne, a Sall ally, claimed at midnight that the president had won 13 out of 14 regions with "at least 57 percent" of the vote.

"The results allow us to say that we should congratulate President Macky Sall on his re-election," he said.

Earlier, opposition candidates Ousmane Sonko and Idrissa Seck had said that a second round of voting was possible based on preliminary results.

"At the current state of the vote count, no candidate, I say no candidate, including myself, can claim to have won the presidential election," Sonko said.

President favorite to win

Sall had been favored to win the election on the back of strong economic growth. The 57-year-old had pledged to introduce universal health care and expand education in the West African country.

However, critics have accused Sall of sidelining political opponents.

His strongest rivals, Khalifa Sall and Abdoulaye Wade, were banned from running in the presidential race after being accused of corruption. Both have dismissed the charges as politically motivated.

Senegal has been considered the most stable democracy in the region since it became independent in 1960.

Official results are due by Friday at the latest. If no candidate wins outright, a second round of voting is scheduled to take place on March 24.

(AFP, Reuters)

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