May 21, 2024

Bassirou Diomaye Faye is poised to become Senegal’s youngest president in history following his opponent’s concession in the election race.

This marks a remarkable victory for the 44-year-old, who was released from prison just ten days prior to Sunday’s election, the official results of which are still pending.

This election represents the first instance in the 12 presidential elections held since Senegal’s independence from France in 1960 under universal suffrage, where an opposition candidate has clinched victory in the initial round of voting.

Faye’s primary adversary from the ruling coalition, 62-year-old Amadou Ba, acknowledged Faye’s triumph and personally extended his congratulations.

Outgoing President Macky Sall, who opted not to seek reelection after his victories in 2012 and 2019, also commended Faye’s success, describing it as “a victory for Senegalese democracy.”

Faye has pledged a platform of left-wing pan-Africanism and vowed to renegotiate gas and oil contracts, especially with Senegal’s impending commencement of production from recently discovered oil and gas reserves later this year.

Despite never holding a nationally elected position before, the opposition candidate has yet to make any public statements following the election, which followed three years of social unrest and political turmoil.

The United States echoed Sall’s sentiments, applauding Senegal’s democratic triumph.

“The dedication of the Senegalese people to the democratic process is fundamental to our strong bilateral relations,” remarked State Department spokesman Matthew Miller during a press briefing.

“People are yearning for change when observing the corruption and disregard for the law in this country,” remarked El Hadji Mamadou Mbaye, a political science lecturer and researcher at the University of Saint-Louis, in an interview with AFP.

Mbaye emphasized that Ousmane Sonko, a fiery opposition figure barred from participating in the election, epitomized the desired change, endorsing Faye as his successor.

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