West Africa–– A constitutional council court in Senegal has confirmed a widely expected landslide for the political coalition of President Macky Sall in legislative elections. The court’s win bolsters the President’s image ahead of his 2019 re-election bid.
According sources, the constitutional council confirmed that the presidential coalition Benno Bokk Yaakaar (BBY) won 125 of the country’s parliament’s 165 seats. The results were published thru the public APS news agency.
The conclusion is the final approval required for the results of the July 30 vote to be definitive.
The coalitions of ex-president Abdoulaye Wade and Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sall took 19 and seven seats respectively.
Observers say the election had a turnout of 53.66 percent among the country’s 6.2 million registered voters, even though many people complained about organizational problems.
Fourteen parties will be represented in the national parliament, where for the first time half a million Senegalese living abroad will be represented by 15 “diaspora” lawmakers.
There were a record 47 candidates contesting the election, however; and clashes between supporters of President Sall, Wade and Mayor Sall led to several arrests during the campaign.
Wade has said his coalition will not participate in future elections organized by Sall’s government, describing the July vote as a “masquerade”, though he won a seat in the vote.
Senegal’s government sources say, Mayor Sall is currently in jail awaiting trial for embezzling state funds — charges his supporters say are politically motivated — but also won a seat. It is not clear if he will be able to take it up.