Poised to Become Senegal’s next President, Diomaye Faye Finally Breaks Silence on Election Result

Senegal’s incumbent president Macky Sall praised little-known 44-year-old opposition leader Bassirou Diomaye Faye on Monday.

He is expected to become the West African country’s next president less than two weeks after being released from prison to run in the election.

According to the Senegalese News Agency (APS), the constitutional council will declare the results on April 3rd.

The other frontrunner, a former prime minister supported by incumbent President Sall, admitted defeat based on preliminary findings.

A move, welcomed by Diomaye Faye: “I salute the approach of the other candidates who, without exception, have honoured a very Senegalese tradition without even waiting for the official results to be announced by the authorised state bodies. Their congratulatory messages are eloquent testimony to their greatness,” he said during an adress in Dakar on Monday (Mar. 25).

Dioamaye Faye promised to rule with humility and fight corruption.

He also vowed to advance Africa’s political and economic integration and also pledged reliability to Senegal’s partners.

“I would like to say to the international community and to our bilateral and multilateral partners that Senegal will always honor it’s commitments. It will remain a friendly country and a secure and reliable ally for any partner that engages with us in virtuous, respectful and mutually productive cooperation,” he told a packed room.

Faye’s performance indicated anger among youth with significant unemployment and concerns about government in the West African nation.

Faye, a protégé of Ousmane Sonko, has pledged to protect Senegal against corruption and outside intervention.

READ ALSO: ECOWAS, AU, EU Officials Meet With Senegal’s Macky Sall

From prisoner to president

Sonko, who was also released on March 14 after months in prison amid euphoric celebrations in the capital, was forbidden from running due to a prior conviction, so Faye took his place.

The election on Sunday came after months of turmoil sparked by the arrests of Faye and Sonko last year, as well as suspicions that the president will seek a third term despite constitutional term limitations.

The violence undermined Senegal’s reputation as a stable democracy in a region plagued by coups. According to rights groups, dozens of people were killed during the protests, and approximately 1,000 were imprisoned.

Faye is a former tax collector who was relatively unknown until Sonko chose him as his heir.

His roots are in a little hamlet in central Senegal. He is a practicing Muslim with two wives.

Faye had been imprisoned on multiple offenses, including slander.

In a country of over 17 million people, more than 7 million people have registered to vote. To win, candidates needed to receive more than half of the vote.

Sunday’s election was also the first without a sitting president on the ballot following the implementation of term limits, which prevented Sall from seeking a third term.

The civil society monitoring group COSCE reported a voter turnout of more than 61%.

Leave a Reply