Senegal ruling party claims victory in legislative elections
Senegal President Macky Sall’s ruling coalition has won 30 of the country’s 46 administrative departments, giving it a slim majority parliament following Sunday’s legislative election.
Former prime minister Aminata Toure, who led the ruling coalition’s list in the legislative election announced the partial results on national television from the party’s headquarters early on Monday after Sunday’s vote.
“This gives us an unquestionable majority,” Toure said to the cheers of supporters. She did not say how many of the 165 parliamentary seats the party won.
Under Senegal’s hybrid electoral system, 97 candidates who win a majority of votes in administrative departments are elected, while 53 from national lists are elected using proportional representation, and 15 are elected by Senegalese living outside the country.
Barthelemy Dias, mayor of the capital Dakar, and a leader of the main opposition coalition which has been energised by economic hardship and fears of Sall’s third term ambition, immediately disputed the results announced by Toure, warning that it was not her place to announce results of the election.
“The people will respond, and the people will come out into the streets tomorrow, and you will tell us where you got your majority,” Dias said.
The political backdrop in the country of 17.5 million, considered among West Africa’s most stable democracies, has become increasingly acrimonious, fuelled in part by Sall’s refusal to rule out breaching term limits.
Violent protests erupted last year after Sall’s main opponent, Ousmane Sonko, was arrested on rape charges. Sonko, who came third in the last presidential election in 2019, denies the allegations and says they are politically motivated.
Violent protests broke out again last month after the main opposition coalition’s primary list of parliamentary candidates, which included Sonko, was disqualified on technical grounds. As a result, the coalition’s backup list – consisting mostly of relative unknowns – will be on the ballot.
The coalition, which formed an alliance with another led by 96-year-old former President Abdoulaye Wade, is hoping to build on gains the opposition made during the January municipal election when they won control of Senegal’s major cities.