Information about public elections in Senegal

DAKAR, Senegal — Voters in Senegal went to the polls on Sunday in one of the most public elections in the country’s history. There had been weeks of uncertainty over the timing of the election and months of confusion over who would be allowed to run.

This is the first time in Senegalese history that a sitting president does not appear. Instead, the leading contenders among the 19 candidates include President Macky Sall’s handpicked successor, former Prime Minister Amadou Ba; and former tax collector Basilu Diomaye ·Bassirou Diomaye Faye.Faye is backed by Saar’s popular rival Ousmane Sankoh Banned from running for election by court.

Preliminary results showed Faye in the lead, sparking jubilant celebrations on the streets of Dakar, with supporters waving flags and setting off fireworks after a day of voting that went largely smoothly.

sal last year Ruled out running for third term — widely considered unconstitutional — but his decision last month shocked many at home and abroad Postponing the election indefinitely, marking another first in Senegal’s history.he shrink back Following the Constitutional Court’s decision, Sunday’s election will be held less than a month after the original election date of February 25.

“Sall’s cruel and illegal way of postponing the election has left our country in a deadlock from which the only way out is through the courts,” said Maurice Sudique Dione, a political science professor at Gaston Berger University in St. Louis, Senegal. “Now we’re going to have a very, very tight election.”

If no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote on Sunday, a runoff will be held next month.

What is the international significance of Senegal’s election?

Senegal is in the midst of a region plagued by recent military coups, including in neighboring countries Mali 2020 and 2021 and Guinea 2021. recent, There will be a coup in Burkina Faso in 2022 and niger last year Already in the process of growing anti-western sentiment.

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Against this backdrop, Senegal, a coastal country of 18 million people, has become an increasingly important ally of the West and a democratic bright spot. Since independence from France in 1960, Senegal has experienced four transitions of power without a military takeover. But in recent years, domestic and international observers have grown concerned as Sa’ar has become increasingly repressive, including jailing journalists and opponents. Dozens of protesters died in violence that followed Sonko’s trial, which his supporters said was politically motivated.

But Mucahid Durmaz, a senior analyst at risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft, said, “If anything, the riots are testament to Senegal’s strong democratic culture.”

“You have a president who is increasingly becoming a strongman,” he said. “But there is also a vibrant civil society and strong institutions that check him. It is important that the election is smooth and transparent, but overall, I am optimistic.”

How are the leading candidates different?

Bassirou Faye, 43, is an anti-establishment figure popular among Senegalese youth and buoyed by his close ties to Sonko.He has been working to renegotiate Senegal’s Lucrative oil and gas contracts, reconsidering relations with France and reviewing its currency pegged to the euro and shared with several other countries in West Africa. Faye was jailed on charges including defamation and contempt of court but was released this month as part of a pardon deal.

In an interview with ReutersFaye declined to say what role Sonko might play in a future government if he wins.

Amadou Ba, 62, served as economy and foreign minister before being appointed prime minister in 2022. As a member of the ruling party, he is seen as continuing the policies set by Saar during his 12-year term. Durmaz described him as a “smart politician” and a “behind-the-scenes technocrat who is used to solving problems but now finds himself on the public stage.”

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What is Mackie Saul’s legacy?

During his 12 years in office, Sall has made significant investments in infrastructure, including a new railway system, a new airport and the creation of the city of Diamniadio, which Sall said will become the capital of Dakar. second city center outside. Senegal’s government has also signed lucrative contracts to tap the country’s oil and gas reserves, which analysts say will significantly increase the country’s gross domestic product in the coming years.

On the world stage, Thrall has become Senegal’s global rights defender and other developing countries to use their resources, including fossil fuels, to industrialize and develop.

Alioune Tine, a human rights expert and founder of the AfrikaJom Center, a research group in Dakar, said Sall, who chairs the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States, has also made Senegal an increasingly important global player. . “McGee is the darling of the world powers,” Thien said. “Putin, Macron, the Americans, all of them… he reinforces Senegal’s strong diplomatic tradition.”

But in recent years, Saar’s legacy has been tarnished by increasingly harsh repression. Senegal fell 55 places to 104th in the World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders between 2021 and 2023. Sall has also been widely criticized for not ruling out early re-election for a third term. For his treatment of Sonko, he spent several months under house arrest before being released under an amnesty deal; and the decision to postpone elections.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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