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Bassirou Diomaye Faye Wins Senegal’s Presidential Election

Bassirou Diomaye Faye, an anti-establishment figure, has won the Senegalese presidential election with 54.28 per cent of the votes in the first round. At 44 years old, Faye is set to become Africa’s youngest elected president and the first opponent to win in the first round since Senegal’s independence from France in 1960. His victory still needs to be validated by Senegal’s Constitutional Council in the next few days.

Defeating the Governing Coalition Candidate

  • Faye comfortably defeated the governing coalition’s candidate, former prime minister Amadou Ba, who received 35.79 percent of the votes.
  • Aliou Mamadou Dia came in third with just 2.8 percent of the votes among the 19 candidates.
  • The voter turnout was 61.30 percent, higher than in 2012 but lower than the previous election in 2019.

A Break from the Current System

  • Faye, who was freed from prison just 10 days before the election, has said he wants a “break” with the current political system.
  • He has promised to restore national “sovereignty” and implement a program of “left-wing pan-Africanism.”
  • His election could herald a profound overhaul of Senegal’s institutions.

Smooth Election Process

  • International observers, including the African Union’s observation mission, hailed the smooth running of Sunday’s vote and the “political and democratic maturity” of the Senegalese people.
  • The announcement of the official provisional results seems to clear the way for a handover of power from outgoing President Macky Sall to Faye before Sall’s term ends on April 2, provided there are no appeals.

A New Era for Senegal

  • Faye’s victory marks a significant shift in Senegalese politics, with an opponent winning the presidency for the first time since independence.
  • He has promised to govern with “humility and transparency” and has called for national unity after years of tension and deadly unrest preceding the election.
  • Senegal, which prides itself on stability and democratic principles in a region prone to coups, appears to be entering a new era under its youngest-ever elected leader.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams

  • Senegal Capital: Dakar
  • Senegal President: Macky Sall
  • Senegal Currency: West African CFA franc
  • Senegal Official language: French

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