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Senegalese presidential election outcome

06 March 2019 Martin Roberts

Provisional results released 28 February indicated that incumbent Macky Sall had been re-elected after winning 58.27% of the vote in Senegal's presidential election on 24 February. The figures released by the national vote-counting commission still need validating by the Constitutional Court, but this is just a formality. Sall only faced four rivals thanks to the exclusion of two of his strongest possible opponents on corruption charges, and second-placed candidate Idrissa Seck finished well adrift with 20.5% of the vote. The four opposition candidates issued a statement yesterday saying they rejected the results as their own count pointed to Sall scoring less than 50% and needing a run-off; however, they stated that they would not appeal against the outcome because they believed there was no chance of overturning the result.

Significance

There is likely to be little change in the opening stages of Sall's second term from the current focus on public investment-led infrastructure projects, boosting power output, and preparations to facilitate oil and gas production from major discoveries by the end of the president's mandate in 2024. The main infrastructure focus will continue to be on projects to develop the purpose-built business hub of Diamniadio, where special economic zones, a hub for technical companies, a medical campus, and research centers are being constructed. Further solar power projects are likely to be supported, having played a key part in expanding electricity production by around 60% since 2010. Sall will also push ahead with offering new deep-water oil blocks, with terms based on the Petroleum Code approved by the National Assembly on 24 January. The opposition's failure to unite around a single presidential candidate underlines ongoing divisions which undermine any attempts to obstruct or offer alternative plans to the government's policy program. The risk of any post-election protests in the capital, Dakar, is minimal after the joint opposition candidates' statement that they will not challenge the result.

Posted 06 March 2019 by Martin Roberts, Principal Analyst, Sub-Saharan Africa Country Risk, IHS Markit

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