CrisisWatch Senegal

Improved Situation

Presidential elections held peacefully, paving way for victory of opposition leader. 

Elections held peacefully, Bassirou Diomaye Faye set to become new president. Presidential poll held 24 March with both ruling party and opposition candidates competing after delay from original 25 Feb date had sparked constitutional crisis; election day ran peacefully across country. Electoral commission 25 March said Faye, candidate for opposition PASTEF party, won polls and Constitutional Court 29 March confirmed results; Faye took 54.3% of the vote, beating eighteen others including ruling coalition candidate Amadou Ba who took 35.8%, avoiding need for run-off and completing remarkable victory for figure little known several years ago and released from prison earlier in March (see below). Opposition supporters 25 March and in following days celebrated results in capital Dakar. 

Popular support rallied behind Faye after several key figures released from prison. National Assembly 6 March passed amnesty law for people arrested between Feb 2021 and Feb 2024 for political crimes or participation in protests. Those released included Faye and most popular opposition figure Ousmane Sonko, whose 14 March release was welcomed by thousands of supporters in Dakar; Sonko, barred from running as candidate due to May 2023 conviction for defamation, pledged support for Faye’s candidacy. Meanwhile, Supreme Court 15 March rejected disqualified candidate of Senegalese Democratic Party Karim Wade’s attempt to delay March election, while Wade subsequently endorsed Faye before polling day. 

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