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Senegal’s ruling coalition loses absolute majority

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DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Senegal’s ruling coalition party has lost an absolute majority in the national assembly, according to official provisional results released Thursday by the electoral commission.

President Macky Sall’s Benno Bokk Yaakar party, won 82 of the 165 deputy positions to be filled, a major blow to the leader who many feared would seek a third term in 2024 presidential elections if his party held the absolute majority. They held 125 seats before Sunday’s legislative election.

Aly Ba, the president of the Court of Appeals of Dakar and President of the National Vote Counting Commission read the results Thursday. Parties can appeal to the Constitutional Council which will release final results by the end of next week.

The two main opposition forces, Yewwi Askan Wi (Liberate the People) and Wallu Senegal (Save Senegal) obtained 56 seats and 24 seats respectively, according to the results. The other three seats are shared between the three other coalitions. This is the first time that the opposition has won so many seats in the National Assembly.

Election officials said the participation rate for more than 7 million registered voters was about 47%. Voting Sunday in the West African nation known for its stability remained calm and peaceful. A prime minister will now be appointed and a new government formed after the president on Wednesday chaired a last Council of Ministers meeting on Wednesday during which he asked the ministers to evacuate current affairs.

The results come hours after the Senegalese opposition demanded the suspension of the publication of the results of the legislative elections of July 31. On Sunday, the ruling party had said they were going to hold a majority.

“The national vote counting commission has until Friday at midnight to publish the results,” declared Déthié Fall, representative of the Coalition Yewwi Askan wi (Liberate the People) during a press briefing in front of the court which houses the vote counting commission.

On Wednesday, Ousmane Sonko, the leader of the opposition who was disqualified from running warned against “any treachery aimed at confiscating the votes of the Senegalese”.

By BABACAR DIONE
Associated Press

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