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Senegal elections

Senegal opposition’s Faye leads early presidential election results

Senegal opposition’s Faye leads early presidential election results
Supporters of opposition presidential candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye and firebrand opposition leader Ousmane Sonko attend their closing campaign rally in Mbour, Senegal, 22 March 2024. Sonko of the dissolved party PASTEF (African Patriots of Senegal for Work, Ethics and Fraternity), and Faye, who is running for president in his place, were both released from prison late 14 March 2024. More than 7 million Senegalese registered to cast their vote for the presidential elections of 24 March. EPA-EFE/JEROME FAVRE

DAKAR, March 25 (Reuters) - Early results in Senegal's presidential polls suggested opposition candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye may have clinched an outright majority, though his rival in the ruling coalition said a run-off vote would be needed to determine the winner.

Opposition supporters celebrated in the streets of the capital Dakar on Sunday after local media channels started announcing polling station tallies that put Faye, 44, comfortably ahead of his main rival, Amadou Ba.

Several other opposition contenders in Sunday’s election conceded defeat to Faye during the night.

Official results are expected to be announced by the Dakar appeals court on Friday.

Many hope the delayed vote will bring stability and an economic boost to the West African nation after three years of unprecedented political turbulence.

Ba is the candidate backed by outgoing President Macky Sall, who is stepping down amid a drop in popularity after two terms in office marred by economic hardship and violent anti-government protests.

Ba said in a statement late on Sunday that celebrations of Faye’s victory were premature and that official results would show a second round of voting was needed.

(Reporting by Bate Felix; Writing by Sofia Christensen; editing by Silvia Aloisi and Bernadette Baum)

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