Senegal opposition's Faye set to become president after rival concedes defeat

Senegal opposition candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye was set to be declared the country's next president after his rival from the ruling coalition called him on Monday to concede defeat.

Results trickling in since polls closed on Sunday evening in the first round of a delayed presidential election rapidly suggested Faye, 44, may have clinched an outright majority. The trends announced on local media sparked street celebrations by his supporters in the capital Dakar.

Ruling coalition candidate Amadou Ba, 62, initially called these celebrations premature and said a run-off vote would be needed to determine the winner.

But he then called Faye on Monday to offer his congratulations, a government spokesman told journalists.

"In light of presidential election result trends and while we await the official proclamation, I congratulate... Faye for his victory in the first round," Ba said in a statement.

A peaceful transition of power in Senegal would mark a boost for democracy in West Africa, where there have been eight military coups since 2020.

Senegal's international bonds rose on reports that Faye was close to being declared a winner, reversing sharp falls from earlier in the day.

Official results are expected to be announced by the Dakar appeals court on Friday. The electoral commission has not yet communicated on the tallies counted so far out of 15,633 voting stations.

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