Senegal: Macky Sall triumphs in the first round, opposition challenges but throws in the towel

Outgoing Senegalese President Macky Sall triumphed in the first round of the presidential election and crushed his four opponents of the opposition, who "strongly rejected" the provisional results announced Thursday but decided not to appeal .

Macky Sall, 56, has won more than 2.5 million votes (58.27% of valid votes cast), a comfortable absolute majority that opens the way for a new five-year term, during which he intends to to continue implementing its "emerging Senegal" plan, according to the figures announced at the beginning of the afternoon by the president of the National Commission for the Census of Votes (CNRV), Demba Kandji.

He preceded former Prime Minister Idrissa Seck, credited with 20.50%, the deputy "anti-system" Ousmane Sonko (15.67%), the president of private university Issa Sall (4.07%) and the former Minister Madicke Niang (1.48%), detailed Demba Kandji, according to which the participation, very high, was 66.24%.

The announcement sparked scenes of jubilation at Macky Sall's campaign headquarters, where his close associate and former prime minister, Aminata Toure, spoke.

"Macky Sall has had three times more votes than the second, which is called a win without a doubt," Toure said in the midst of activists yelling their joy, dancing or throwing each other into the arms. others, an AFP journalist reported.

- 'Will of the confiscated people' -

"We firmly and unreservedly reject this result," which "perfectly reflects the order of the outgoing candidate," said on behalf of the four opposition candidates Idrissa Seck.

"It is clear that the incumbent has confiscated the will of the sovereign people and will be the only one to bear the consequences in front of the people and in the face of history," said Seck, reading a text co-signed by Ousmane Sonko, Madicke Niang and Issa Sall.

"We will not make any appeal to the Constitutional Council", however indicated the opponents of the outgoing president.

"I fought for democracy and today I am sorry to see this electoral treachery," said 49-year-old Ibrahima Diedhiou, who came with his daughter to wait for the results in front of Idrissa Seck's home.

Senegal had held its breath since the beginning of the morning to know if Macky Sall had actually won the election in the first round or if he was forced to a second round at the end indecisive.

Denouncing "irregularities" in the ballot, the Pastef-the Patriots, the formation of Ousmane Sonko, revelation of the election campaign, had called for "absolute vigilance".

The results gorged in recent days by the media, who collected the data of the minutes posted in each county court, had reinforced the optimism of the presidential camp, which had claimed the victory on Sunday night, and aroused the anger of its rivals who judged them non-compliant and claimed that a second turn was "inevitable".

- Avoid at all costs a second round -

On the political side, a second round could have been dangerous for the incumbent president, who would have been confronted with a united front of the opposition.

Macky Sall also wanted to avoid a second run that this scenario had allowed him in 2012, as leader of the opposition, to beat in the second round his predecessor, Abdoulaye Wade, who had headed first.

Macky Sall, who has been in power since 2012 and will begin his new five-year term on April 3, will be able to pursue his ambition to bring Senegal "farther and higher", towards "emergence" by 2035 .

The first phase of its "emerging Senegal plan", launched in 2014, has mainly resulted in major works, including the construction of the new city of Diamniadio, 32 km from Dakar, the opening of a new airport and the construction of a regional express train which is expected to be commissioned in the coming months.

It will also try to appease relations with the opposition, which had denounced before the vote the invalidation of the candidacies of Karim Wade, son and former minister of President Abdoulaye Wade (2000-2012), and Khalifa Sall, deposed mayor of Dakar, both struck by judicial convictions. She also criticized the introduction of a new sponsorship system that eliminated 20 of the 27 contenders.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

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