Opposition candidate, Faye, likely to be announced winner in Senegal’s presidential poll


DAKAR – Opposition leader, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, has emerged as favourite to win Senegal’s presidential election, after several rivals conceded.

Millions took part in a peaceful vote on Sunday, following three years of turbulence and opposition protests against the incumbent, Macky Sall.

The BBC reported that voters had a choice of 17 candidates.

However, the ruling coalition’s choice, Amadou Ba, rejected reports of defeat and said he expected to contest a run-off vote to decide a winner.

Faye, 44, a senior official in the Pastef party led by Ousmane Sonko, had been in jail only days before the vote.

The first set of tallies announced on television showed Faye had won the majority of votes, triggering widespread street celebrations in the capital Dakar.

Supporters set off fireworks, waved Senegalese flags and blew vuvuzelas.

Read More: Senegal goes to the polls after weeks of political unrest

Sonko was disqualified from the race because of a defamation conviction.

The results also led to five opposition candidates declaring Faye the winner and Anta Babacar Ngom, the only female candidate, wished him success in a statement.

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

Sonko backed Faye, the co-creator of his now dissolved Pastef party, who was also detained almost a year ago on charges including defamation and contempt of court.

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