Senegal President Macky Sall has been re-elected, winning 58 percent of the votes cast in last Sunday’s election.
Opposition candidate Idrissa Seck came second with 21 percent of votes, while Ousmane Sonko placed third with 16 percent, according to provisional results announced by the electoral body on Thursday.
More than 66 percent of 6.7 million registered voters took part in the election.
Senegal has witnessed peaceful transitions of power since independence from France in 1960, earning the the tag of West Africa’s most stable democracy.
But Sall has been criticized by rights groups for squeezing out rivals. Two candidates who could have posed a serious threat to his re–election were indicted of corruption and suspended.
However, fairly good economic growth made it easy for Sall to defeat his four rivals.
Reuters reported that “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”.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari who also win reelection in the Saturday poll was quick to congratulate Sall.
“The President commends the people of Senegal on the successful and peaceful conduct of the presidential election, noting that the scenario of successful elections in West African countries is a sign of hope that democracy has come to stay in the sub-region,” Mr Buhari’s spokesman Femi Adesina said in a statement sent to TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C.
“While wishing the Senegalese people peace, stability and progress, President Buhari looks forward to working with President Sall to advance existing bilateral cooperation in various fields for the benefits of their citizens.
“At the sub-regional level, the Nigerian leader expresses readiness to partner with his Senegalese counterpart to achieve greater progress in the economic, governance, peace, security and humanitarian fields,” the statement added.
Mr Buhari’s main challenger Atiku Abubakar has rejected the results, saying they were massively rigged and announcing that he was going to court.