Bassirou Faye: The Tourtous Journey of Africa’s Youngest Elected President

ai”In electing me, the Senegalese people have decided on a break with a past,”

“I promise to govern with humility and transparency.”

 

Those were the words of 44 year old Bassirou Diomay Faye who is set to be declared elected as President of Senegal.

 

Haven garnered 53.7% from 90% of all the polling units across the West African country, leaving his closest rival and the candidate of the ruling party  with 36.2% Faye who celebrated his 44th birthday on Monday will become Africa’s youngest elected president by Friday when the election result will be officially announced.

 

Already, the candidate of the ruling party, former Prime Minister Amadou Ba who have conceded defeat, and President Macky Sall have both called to congratulate Faye, other opposition candidates also called to congratulate Faye who was only recently released from political imprisonment.

 

With Faye emerging the democratically elected leader of Senegal, the country has once again shown the unbreakable resilience of its democracy and most importantly, the depth of peoples’ power.

Senegal in the last three years has witnessed political upheavals that threatened its very soul, including an uncanny tenure elongation plans by President Macky Sall who postponed elections by 10 months when it was discovered that his anointed candidate was bound to lose the election.

Sall who is constitutionally bound to leave office in April 2, 2024 in an unprecedented move suddenly postponed presidential election by 10 months thereby giving himself additional one year in office, but the people of Senegal swiftly resisted the move, poured into the streets of Dakar and other towns and eventually wrestled Sall to the ground when the constitutional court ruled in favour of the people.

 

President Sall also jailed several opposition figures including President-elect Faye, yet the people of Senegal resisted all attempts to truncate its their democracy.

 

It is instructive to note that President-elect Bassirou Faye has been in prison for 11 months over a Facebook post he made criticizing the government of Macky Sall, he was subsequently arrested and thrown into prison where he was until two weeks ago when he was released to contest the election.

 

In all, the people of Senegal has rekindled hope in democracy in Africa and even the strongest traducers of free speech and democracy are retracing their steps in admiration and awe of the power of a determined people.

 

In accepting his obvious defeat, 62 year government candidate,  Amadou Ba said,

“The Senegalese people have reinforced the good health of our democracy.. I wish him (Faye) success at the head of our country,” “In light of presidential election result trends and while we await the official proclamation, I congratulate… Faye for his victory in the first round.”

Also, President Sall said, [even though] “Organised in unusual conditions and having overcome a thousand difficulties, the March 24 presidential election will remain in our political history as one of … the most transparent, peaceful and sincere.”

 

Summarily, Senegal remains the bastion of democracy in Africa.

 

 

 

 

 

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