Bassirou Diomaye Faye returns to his hometown to become the 5th President of Senegal

Photo credit: Ndeye Fatou Touré

Ndiaganiao is 114.6 km from Dakar, the Senegalese capital. On this voting day, the atmosphere in this rural town is festive. Its inhabitants eagerly await the return of the prodigious child Bassirou Diomaye Diakhar Faye, who was imprisoned for eleven (11) months at Cap Manuel prison in Dakar.

This Sunday, March 24, 2024, will forever be a key date in the history of Ndiaganiao and Senegal. After eleven long months of absence, the candidate of the Diomaye President coalition returns to vote in his hometown, Ndiandiaye (now a neighborhood of Ndiaganiao).

The commune of Ndiaganioa and its surroundings have exactly 1,875 registered voters spread across four polling stations. It is 8 a.m. local time. The first rays of sunlight invade the roofs of huts and other terraces. Long lines form along the polling stations, mainly consisting of elderly individuals. In the courtyard of the Ndiandiaye school transformed into a polling center, voters form small groups; some are sitting on the ground as if to mark their determination to cast their ballots. Some, with solemn faces, rarely talk among themselves. Everyone seems focused on one goal: fulfilling their civic duty. At 8:30 a.m. (GMT), the atmosphere begins to change, and noise fills the air. Discussions and exchanges among citizens who have come to perform their civic duty are noticeable. Minor shoving occured, as everyone wants to vote first. Despite this early hour, older adults were among the first voters.

After these brief moments of waiting, the inhabitants of Ndiaganiao voted without any problems. It was around 11:30 a.m. (GMT) the long-awaited man, Bassirou Diomaye Diakhar Faye, who had left Dakar earlier, arrived in Ndiaganiao, more precisely in Ndiandiaye, to fulfill his duty. All dressed in white, with a cap firmly on his head and a smile that speaks volumes about his confidence, Mr. Faye slips his envelope into the ballot box.

“I am particularly confident considering the large crowd that welcomed us throughout Senegal. I remain convinced that this election will be decided in the first round. I want to urge other candidates to call for calm because, ultimately, only Senegalese people are voting to choose a Senegalese leader,” said Mr. Faye, surrounded by his two wives outside his polling station.

In total, 7,371,854 Senegalese, both from the country and the diaspora, registered on the electoral lists are called to vote among the 19 candidates who will be the fifth president of the Republic of Senegal. They are spread across 16,440 polling stations. Abroad, or in the diaspora, are 338,040 voters spread across 807 polling stations.

At 6 p.m. local time, and up to the time of writing these lines, the trends show Bassirou Diomaye Faye as the clear favorite. He leads with 56%, followed by Amadou Ba with 31%.


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