EU, ECOWAS Hail Smooth Running Of Senegal Presidential Poll

The European Union and West Africa’s regional union sent observation missions to Senegal on Tuesday, praising the flawless handling of the presidential election, which was won by an anti-establishment opponent after three years of turmoil.

Around 7.3 million Senegalese were eligible to vote in Sunday’s election, which resulted in 44-year-old Bassirou Diomaye Faye becoming the country’s youngest president after his primary competitor and government candidate, Amadou Ba, accepted defeat.

“Voting generally went smoothly and in a largely peaceful atmosphere,” said Ibrahim Gambari, head of the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) mission, during a press conference in Dakar.

Malin Bjork, the director of the EU mission, commended a “well-organized and open election that demonstrated the strength of Senegal’s democratic institutions” at a separate conference.

“Overall, the election was competently organized. “Voters were able to make their decisions freely in a peaceful and orderly environment,” she said.

ECOWAS had deployed 130 observers, while the EU had sent another 100.

Senegal, long regarded as a source of stability in coup-torn West Africa, is a crucial member of the ECOWAS bloc.

Official provisional results are expected this week, but Faye’s opponents in the contest, including outgoing President Macky Sall, have already acknowledged his triumph.

Since 2021, many have been dead and hundreds detained in various instances of violence, sparked in part by a standoff between the state and opposition figure Ousmane Sonko, who supported Faye’s campaign after being forbidden from running.

Sall’s decision to postpone the presidential election, which was initially set for February 25, sparked Senegal’s greatest political crisis in decades, killing four people.

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