Senegal – Presidential election 2nd round

The second round of the presidential election in Senegal took place on 25 March. The final result has not yet been announced. However, incumbent president, Abdoulaye Wade, has conceded defeat.

Almost immediately following the close of the polls, President Wade called his rival, Macky Sall, and congratulated him on his success. In addition, President Wade made a formal declaration conceding defeat. The text, in French, is available here.

Legislative elections will be held in June. These correspond to what Matthew Shugart calls a honeymoon election. So, we would expect Macky Sall’s supporters to do well.

However, a word of caution. The new president was formerly a member of Wade’s PDS party. He does not have a strong party organisation supporting him. So, the real issue will be whether Wade’s PDS (and its wider so-called Sopi coalition partners) migrate en masse to Macky Sall, or whether they act as an opposition. Party loyalties are weak and the promise of material reward from a new president is strong. So, we would probably expect Sall’s supporters to do well. That said, it is worth remembering that Sall only on 27% of the vote at the first ballot. There is a least the possibility that President Sall may find it difficult to work with the new legislature when it is elected.


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