Senegalese President Macky Sall has been officially re-elected to a second term in office after the country’s constitutional council confirmed his win in the February 24 elections with 58% of the vote.
Provisional results announced by Senegal’s electoral commission last week showed that Sall, a former prime minister, gained more than 50% of the vote to avoid a run-off election.
Candidates in Senegal’s presidential polls are required to secure more than 50% of the vote tally in the first round to be declared winner.
Sall, who first came to power in 2012 after defeating incumbent Abdoulaye Wade, defeated four challengers including Idrissa Seck, another former prime minister, and Ousmane Sonko, a former tax officer who ran on the promise of ending significant colonial-era ties to France.
“This renewed trust motivates me to work twice as hard, to do more and better,” Sall tweeted Tuesday after confirmation of his victory.
Sall’s re-election was widely expected after overseeing annual economic growth of over 6%, among the highest in Africa, according to the World Bank.
His first term saw the construction of landmark infrastructure projects including highways, train lines and a new international airport.
But political opponents and rights groups like Amnesty International raised concerns over what they called the “unfair trials” that barred two of his major challengers from running.
The former mayor of Dakar, Khalifa Sall (no relation), is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for embezzling $3.2 million in public funds and Karim Wade, the son of President Sall’s predecessor, has been living in exile in Qatar since 2017 after serving half of his six-year jail time.
Sall, whose first term lasted seven years, will now serve a second term of five years after a 2016 referendum approved shorter presidential terms.
Senegal is one of Africa’s most stable democracies and has witnessed peaceful political transitions since its independence from France in 1960.
More than 66% of 6.7 million registered voters cast a ballot in the polls, Reuters reported.