Senegal’s former Prime Minister Amadou Ba has congratulated rival opposition candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye for winning the presidential election.

Results trickling in since polls closed on Sunday evening in the first round of a delayed presidential election suggested Faye, 44, may have clinched an outright majority. The trends announced on local media sparked street celebrations by his supporters in the capital Dakar.

Ruling coalition candidate Ba, 62, initially called these celebrations premature and said a run-off vote would be needed to determine the winner.

But he then called Faye on Monday to offer his congratulations, a government spokesman told journalists.

“In light of presidential election result trends and while we await the official proclamation, I congratulate … Faye for his victory in the first round,” Ba said in a statement.

Senegal’s outgoing President Macky Sall also congratulated opposition candidate  Faye as his successor on Monday, hailing “a victory for Senegalese democracy.”

Sall, who did not stand after wins in 2012 and 2019, said he “salutes the smooth running of the election” and “congratulates the winner, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, who the poll trends show as winning.”

Several opposition contenders had also conceded defeat to Faye during the night, including Anta Babacar Ngom, the only woman running.

(Al Jazeera)

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