Macky Sall reelected president of Senegal

DAKAR, Senegal––Senegal’s President Macky Sall reelected for a second five years term following Sunday’s election.

Electoral officials said Sall won 58% of the votes cast.  Meanwhile, opposition political groups accused the President of preventing some of his chief rivals from running.

Immediately after the poll, his prime minister, Mohammed Dionne, alleged the President had won.  Dionne said preliminary results suggested President Sall had secured about 57% of the vote in Sunday’s elections, but that official result would have taken days to be release.

Using legal means and political tactics, the Sall government barred two well-known opposition figures from taking part in the presidential election, after being deemed ineligible because of corruption convictions.

As a result of the decision neither the Socialist Party nor the Senegalese Democratic Party, which have dominated the country’s political landscape since independence, fielded presidential candidates.

Information released by the country’s electoral body said only five candidates were deemed eligible for Sunday’s vote, compared to 12 in the last election.

Electoral observers told media group that President Sall faced four known challengers in the vote on Sunday after preventing his main rivals from running.

Two of Mr. Sall’s rival candidates, Idrissa Seck and Ousmane Sonko, said they did not believe President Sall had won more than 50% of the vote and that there should be a second round.

Senegal’s President Sall

“At the current stage of the vote and the tally, no candidate, I say clearly, no candidate, myself included, can proclaim themselves winners of this presidential election,” Mr. Sonko said, speaking before Mr. Dionne’s announcement.

President Sall who first got elected in 2012 after a stint as prime minister, focused on his record about infrastructure projects during the campaign trail, portraying himself as a modernizer who has helped to boost economic growth to more than 6% a year, one of the highest rates in Africa.

Despite President Sall’s claims, his lead critics say he has done little or nothing to improve the lives of ordinary Senegalese.

Senegal has had two democratic transitions of power and no coup since its independence in 1960. It is considered one of the most stable countries and emerging markets in Africa.

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