February 28, 2019
DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegal President Macky Sall won re-election with 58 percent of votes cast in last Sunday’s poll, according to provisional results announced by the official counting body on Thursday.
The majority win hands Sall a second term without a run-off vote. Opposition candidate Idrissa Seck came second with 21 percent of votes, while Ousmane Sonko placed third with 16 percent.
Sall, whom rights groups have criticized for squeezing out rivals, was tipped to win after a modernizing first term that propelled Senegal’s economic growth to more than six percent – one of the highest in Africa.
Since Sunday’s vote, opposition candidates have rejected reports of an out-right victory for Sall, saying their tallies point to a second round of voting.
Seck and Sonko have not yet commented on the National Vote Counting Commission’s results, which are preliminary until validated by the constitutional council. The candidates have 72 hours to register an appeal.
Senegal has long been viewed as West Africa’s most stable democracy, with peaceful transitions of power since it gained independence from France in 1960.
More than 66 percent of 6.7 million registered voters took part in the election.
(Reporting by Juliette Jabkhiro, Writing by Sofia Christensen, Editing by Alessandra Prentice and Angus MacSwan)