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Senegal’s Presidential Elections: A New Chapter in Political Stability Amidst Uncertainty

Opposition candidate closing in on victory in Senegal elections

Senegal’s Presidential Elections: A New Chapter in Political Stability Amidst Uncertainty

In Senegal, the anti-system candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye was in a commanding lead in the first round of presidential elections held after years of social unrest and political turmoil. Four other candidates, including female candidate Anta Babacar Ngom, congratulated Faye on Sunday after observing the trends in the vote count. Meanwhile, former prime minister Amadou Ba, backed by the ruling coalition, had a more subdued atmosphere at his headquarters with a few dozen supporters.

The results from voting centers showed that Faye had a clear advantage over Ba. However, no official results are expected until the end of the week. Hundreds of supporters gathered at Faye’s campaign headquarters to celebrate what appeared to be his victory, while 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 outgoing president Macky Sall in a country considered one of the most stable in the region.

Ba and Faye emerged as favorites among 17 candidates in this election cycle. The ruling coalition supporting Ba is certain there will be a runoff if no candidate obtains an absolute majority. Senegal has strong relations with both Europe and Russia and has recently experienced instability through several coups d’état. The last-minute postponement of elections initially scheduled for February led to violence and uncertainty but were eventually set for March 24. The two-week campaign during the Muslim fasting month was pivotal for Senegal’s democracy.

The incumbent president did not run for re-election, leaving room for candidates like Ba and Faye to tackle persistent issues like poverty, unemployment, debt, and migration. The unrest in 2021 between government and opposition tested Senegal’s stability further. Faye is considered an anti-system candidate who aims to bring change through left-wing Pan-Africanism if elected. Both candidates made promises during their campaigns with a clear divide between continuity and change in leadership.

In conclusion, Senegal’s first round of presidential elections have been marked by significant milestones such as social unrest and political crisis that have led up to this momentous occasion

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