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Senegal’s Local Government Elections: Ruling Party Loses Key Cities To Opposition

Macky Sall
President of Senegal

By Buba Gagigo

In the Sunday’s Local Government Elections in Senegal, the ruling party coalition ‘Benno Bokk Yaakaar’ lost Dakar, Ziguinchor and Guediawaye mayoral seats to the opposition.

Macky’s ‘Benno Bokk Yaakaar’ conceded defeat in Dakar to Barthelemy Dias,  an ally to Khalifa Sall Mayor of Darkar jailed in 2018 over allegations of corruption, which many described as a move by the incumbent to silence the mayor.

In addition, the coalition lost Ziguinchor, the southern city, capital of Casamance region to rival Ousman Sonko.

Similarly, President Macky Sall’s brother Aliou Sall was defeated by journalist Ahmed Aidara in Guediawaye, making the journalist the new mayor of Guediawaye.

However, Macky Sall’s brother-in-law, Mansour Faye was re-elected as the Mayor of Saint- Louis.

Reuters quoted the ruling party coalition as saying in a statement on Sunday: “Our will to capture Dakar and Ziguinchor, in particular, was not conclusive.”

The coalition has congratulated other candidates and called the votes a ‘triumph of democracy’, according to the Reuters.

Voters in Senegal went to the polls on Sunday to elect local government representatives in what many saw as a test for President Macky Sall’s popularity who defeated Wade in 2012 and got reelected in 2019.

It is the first election in the country, since last year’s deadly riots following the arrest of the opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko.

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