The Senegalese Constitutional Court on Tuesday confirmed the reelection of President Macky Sall with 58.26 percent of the vote cast on 24 February. “This renewed trust motivates me to work twice as hard, to do more and better,” Macky Sall told a crowd of reporters gathered at the presidential palace on Tuesday.
Provisional results announced by Senegal’s official counting body last week had showed Sall comfortably securing a second term without a run-off vote. Opposition candidates earlier rejected reports of an out-right victory for the incumbent, saying their tallies pointed to a second round of voting. But they didn’t challenge the official results, and the country’s highest court has now confirmed the president’s re-election.
A geological engineer by training, Sall had been tipped to win after a first term that propelled the West African country’s economic growth to more than six percent – one of the highest on the continent. The extraordinary growth has been driven by his ambitious scheme “Emergent Senegal,” a $7.5 billion economic development plan, which has entailed building a new airport, train line and motorway for the Dakar capital.
On the political stage, Sall was criticized for squeezing out rivals after two powerful opposition figures were disqualified from running for the 2019 presidential election over convictions for misuse of public funds, convictions they say were engineered against them to bar them from running. Commenting on the election results for the first time, Sall thanked the voters for choosing continuity and supporting his modernizing plans. He also addressed opposition candidates, calling for dialogue and unity.
The constitutional council confirmed that runner-up Idrissa Seck secured 21 percent of the votes, while Ousmane Sonko came third with 16 percent. Sall said his swearing-in ceremony would take place on April 2.