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Senegalese President Macky Sall speaks during a U.N. Security Council meeting, Sept. 21, 2016 (AP photo by Julie Jacobson).

Senegal’s Parliamentary Elections Clear the Field for Sall

Friday, Aug. 4, 2017

On July 30, Senegal held legislative elections, the second such vote since President Macky Sall took office five years ago. He and his party won overwhelmingly, claiming 43 of the country’s 45 electoral districts in a victory that underscored Sall’s strong position as his re-election campaign approaches in 2019. But a tough electoral battle in the capital, Dakar, as well as an opposition victory in the city of Touba, suggest that his political supremacy is far from complete. And opposition accusations of intimidation and voting irregularities raise questions about the state of democracy in Senegal.

Heading into the recent vote, Sall’s coalition, known as Benno Bokk Yakaar or United in Hope (BBY), already had a commanding majority in the National Assembly. In the July 2012 legislative elections, held just three months after Sall’s upset presidential victory, BBY won 119 of 150 seats. Sall’s forces also scored a decisive win in a constitutional referendum last year, which was approved by some 63 percent of voters—albeit with low turnout of around 38 percent. ...

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