Opposition leader Bassirou Diomaye Faye has emerged as favourite to win Senegal’s presidential election, after several rivals conceded.

Millions took part in a peaceful vote on Sunday, following three years of turbulence and opposition protests against the incumbent, Macky Sall.

Voters had a choice of 17 candidates.

However, the ruling coalition’s choice, Amadou Ba, rejected reports of defeat and said he expected to contest a run-off vote to decide a winner.

Mr Faye, 44, a senior official in the Pastef party led by Ousmane Sonko, had been in jail only days before the vote. Mr Sonko was disqualified from the race because of a defamation conviction. 

The first set of tallies announced on television showed Mr Faye had won the majority of votes, triggering widespread street celebrations in the capital Dakar.

Supporters set off fireworks, waved Senegalese flags and blew vuvuzelas.

The results also led to five opposition candidates declaring Mr Faye the winner. Anta Babacar Ngom, the only female candidate, wished Mr Faye success in a statement.

It is not clear how many of the 15,633 polling stations have been counted so far. Final provisional results are expected by Tuesday.


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