Home NEWS Senegal’s Path to Change: Faye’s Triumph and Promises for a New Era

Senegal’s Path to Change: Faye’s Triumph and Promises for a New Era

by inlandtownadmin
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Reports from the vote counting commission show Faye as the frontrunner, surpassing the governing coalition’s candidate, former prime minister Amadou Ba. Faye, aged 44, recently released from prison, aims to become Senegal’s youngest president, seeking change in the political system. First time since 1960 independence from France that an opponent wins in the initial round.

Aliou Mamadou Dia, who ranked third out of the 19 candidates on the official list, garnered only 2.8 percent of the vote, as per figures announced at the Dakar court by the president of the national vote counting commission, Amady Diouf.

Faye’s victory, evident from unofficial results, was confirmed by the judiciary-operated vote counting commission. The voter turnout of 61.30 percent was lower than in 2019 when outgoing President Macky Sall clinched a second term in the initial round but higher than in 2012.

The announcement of the official provisional results appears to pave the way for a smooth transition of power between Sall and his successor. Sall’s last-minute vote delay and rushed electoral schedule sparked political turmoil, casting doubt on the transition before April 2.

Despite recent turbulence, the West African nation’s stable democracy suggests a smooth transition, barring any appeals. Presidential candidates have a 72-hour window after the commission announces the results to file an appeal with the Constitutional Council. Per the Constitution, if unchallenged, “the Council will promptly announce the final ballot results.”

If someone raises an objection, the Council must adjudicate within five days and could potentially invalidate the election. Inexperienced in elected roles, Faye is set to become the fifth president of the 18-million-strong West African nation. His fellow presidential candidates and Sall have acknowledged his victory.

Sunday’s election came after three years of tension and violence, with Senegal facing a new political crisis from Sall’s delay. Since 2021, authorities have lost dozens of lives and arrested hundreds, leading to scrutiny of the country’s democratic credentials. Faye endured months of detention himself before authorities released him during the election campaign.

International observers praised the smooth conduct of Sunday’s vote. The African Union’s observation mission commended the “political and democratic maturity of the Senegalese people (and) the generally peaceful political atmosphere of the presidential election.”

Faye has pledged to restore national “sovereignty” and implement a program of “left-wing pan-Africanism.” His election could herald a significant overhaul of Senegal’s institutions. On Monday, he vowed “to govern with humility, transparency, and to combat corruption at all levels.”

He emphasized priorities such as “national reconciliation,” “rebuilding institutions,” and “substantially reducing the cost of living.”

Furthermore, he sought to reassure foreign partners that Senegal “will remain a friendly country and a reliable ally for any partner engaging in virtuous, respectful, and mutually beneficial cooperation.”

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