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Senegal: Macky Sall wins re-election

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Incumbent President Macky Sall gathered 2.5 million votes (58%) during the first round of Senegal’s presidential election on 24 February, thus avoiding a second round with a stronger, more united opposition. The two main opposition candidates, Idrissa Seck and Ousmane Sonko obtained 21.5% and 15.67% respectively. Khalifa Sall, the former mayor of Dakar, and Karim Wade, the son of former President Abdoulaye Wade, were unable to run because of corruption convictions. Voter turnout was high (66%) compared to 2012 levels (51.6% during the first round). Some 6.7 million Senegalese registered to vote, including people in the diaspora and two out of three cast their ballots. President Sall’s campaign focused on his infrastructure record; the promotion of global health coverage, which increased from 20 to 47% during his first mandate; and the country’s strong economic growth rate, which has reached to more than 6% during the past three years. However, these positive trends have not yet sufficiently translated into improvements of peoples’ living conditions. Youth employment remains the key challenge for Senegal, a youthful country where the median age of the population is 19- years-old. During his new five-year term, President Sall is expected to continue implementing his Emerging Senegal Plan aimed at promoting structural economic transformation, human capital and good governance, and establishing the conditions for the “emergence of a new Senegal,” by 2035. “This renewed trust motivates me to work twice as hard, to do more and better,” President Sall declared. A large number of regional and international observers followed the elections and judged it as, “credible, peaceful and transparent.” The opposition rejected the results, but decided not to appeal. The new swearing-in ceremony is scheduled to take place on 2 April.

 

Statement by President Macky Sall following the announcement of final results on 6 March 2019