• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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44-year-old Bassirou Diomaye Faye leads race for Senegal presidency


Bassirou Diomaye Faye, a 44-year-old tax officer, is coasting to the Senegal presidency, according to local media.

Faye, a leader of the opposition party, contested in the presidential election held on Sunday alongside 18 other candidates following three years of turbulence and protest against Macky Sall, the incumbent president of the West African country.

About 7.3 million people registered to vote in the country of around 18 million.

Early results from the poll showed the opposition leader in a comfortable lead triggering widespread celebration on the streets of Dakar, the capital of Senegal.

It is not clear how many of the 15,633 polling stations have been counted so far. Final provisional results are expected by Tuesday.

Five candidates, including Anta Babacar Ngom, the only female in the race, have declared Faye as winner of the election. However, Amadou Ba, the ruling coalition’s choice, said a run-off might be necessary to determine the winner.

If declared winner, the 44-year-old candidate will be West Africa’s youngest democratically elected president.

Faye became a frontline candidate following the disqualification of Ousmane Sonko, the leader of PASTEF. Sonko was disqualified because of a defamation conviction, which he said was politically motivated.

He made first public appearance as a presidential contender on March 15, 2024, attracted hundreds of supporters, just a day after his release from jail.