I’ll govern Senegal with humility – 44-year old President-elect Bassirou Faye vows

In his first speech to reporters after he gained majority of the votes in last Sunday elections, the political neophyte expressed his gratitude to the Senegalese people.

Faye is set to be declared the next president after his main rival called him to concede defeat, thanked President Macky Sall and other candidates for respecting Senegal’s democratic tradition by recognising his victory well before official results.

“In electing me, the Senegalese people have decided on a break with a past,” Faye told journalists in his first public appearance since the election. “I promise to govern with humility and transparency.”

Provisional results showed Faye with about 53.7% and Amadou Ba – from the current ruling coalition – with 36.2% based on tallies from 90% of polling stations in the first-round vote, the electoral commission said.

Ba and Sall both congratulated Faye, who turned 44 on Monday. They hailed the outcome as a win for Senegal, whose reputation as one of West Africa’s most stable democracies took a hit when Sall postponed the vote.

“The Senegalese people have reinforced the good health of our democracy.. I wish him (Faye) success at the head of our country,” Ba said.

A peaceful transition of power in Senegal would mark a boost for democracy in West Africa, where there have been eight military coups since 2020.

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