Senegal top court confirms Faye’s election victory

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Senegal’s Constitutional Council confirmed the presidential election victory of opposition candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye, paving the way for his inauguration as the country’s fifth president.

The top court validated provisional results announced on Wednesday based on vote tallies from 100% of polling stations.

Faye won more than 54% of votes in last Sunday’s delayed presidential poll, with ruling coalition candidate Amadou Ba taking over 35%.

He is expected to be sworn in to replace outgoing President Macky Sall on April 2.

Senegal Elections | Preparations under way for Bassirou Diomaye Faye’s inauguration

While the young people who formed the backbone of Faye’s support base want jobs and more even wealth distribution, investors expressed hope that pledges to create a new currency and renegotiate energy contracts won’t be followed through.

During outgoing President Macky Sall’s 12 years in power, economic growth averaged almost 5%, boosted by spending on roads, railways, ports and airports, while Senegal had a reputation for being economically liberal and open to international business.

In contrast, Faye, 44, a former tax inspector who stepped up as presidential candidate in November when populist firebrand Ousmane Sonko was disqualified, has an interventionist outlook, including supporting local industrialization.

“Macky Sall’s administration prioritised infrastructure development, which, while important, overshadowed more immediate economic concerns of the people,” said Abdoulaye Ndiaye, an assistant economics professor at New York University.
Mass youth unemployment was a key factor driving the 2021 protests, he said.