Senegal has been described as “one of Africa’s most stable electoral democracies” by Freedom House, a non-governmental organisation which tracks democracy worldwide. However, the jailing of prominent opposition leaders and the decision by outgoing President Macky Sell to delay the election sparked mass protests. Sall had intended to delay the election even further but was overruled by the Constitutional Council.

Election campaign

Due to the postponement and rescheduling of the election, the campaign period was cut from 21 days to 14. And, for the first time, the election took place during Ramadan.

At the heart of the campaign were matters that largely affected the younger population. Over 60% of Senegal’s population are under the age of 25, with 43% under the age of 15. Key issues for voters were high unemployment, the cost of living and migration.

19 candidates contested the election, including one woman.

Election results

The opposition candidate, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, won the election with a clear majority, taking over 54% of votes in the first round. Faye was supported by popular opposition leader Ousmane Sonko.

2024 Senegal presidential election results

This was the first time since Senegal’s independence in 1960 that an opposition candidate had won the presidential election in the first round.

Faye also became the youngest democratically elected president in Africa, at 44 years old.

Turnout was 61.3%.

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