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Over 7 million Senegalese registered to vote in unpredictable presidential poll

Supporters celebrate the release of Senegal's top opposition leader Ousmane Sonko in Dakar, Senegal, Thursday, March 14, 2024.   -  
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Sylvain Cherkaoui/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved.


***After delay and uncertainty, Senegal is set for presidential poll this Sunday (Mar. 24).

In the alleyways of Dakar’s fabric market Wednesday (Mar. 20), supporters of Ousmane Sonko's protege Bassirous Diomaye Faye and Senegal's only female presidential candidate, Anta Babacar were confident.

“We trust Diomaye, he will help us, so that young people stop taking to the sea to live abroad. What they are looking for there, we have here. Senegal is rich, but we don’t have good leadership,” market seller Samba said.

Isseu is part of a minority that supports Anta Babacar.

Putting on a Babacar hat and proudly showing off footage of a rally she attended, Diack says: “We women must organise. We can get all the women together. Everything men take on, women can take on too. Anta is capable.” 

“What a man can do, a woman can do. Men put on their pants, we put on our skirts. We women must organize. We can get all the women together. Everything men take on, women can take on too. Anta is capable.”

As of March 21, 19 candidates seek to succeed to Macky Sall. The ruling party nominated Sall's former prime minister Amadou Ba.

Babacar Ndiaye, a political analyst with the Dakar-based think tank WATHI, says the youth vote in this election will be decisive.

“Senegal is a country which is mostly made up of young people. 75% of the population is less than 35 years old. Issues such as economy, employment, or the creation of industry, these are the questions that have been raised during this presidential election.”

Some 7.3 million Senegalese are registered to vote.

This year's presidential election is touted as the most unpredictable and observers expect a runoff between leading candidates.

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