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Senegal's president officially secures re-election

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Senegal's president officially secures re-election
Demba Kandji, Head of National Vote Counting Commission, announces the result of the first round of Senegal's presidential election in which President Macky Sall won 58% of votes, Dakar, Senegal, February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui   -   Copyright  SYLVAIN CHERKAOUI(Reuters)
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DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegalese President Macky Sall was officially declared winner of the Feb. 24 election on Tuesday, after the constitutional council confirmed his re-election with 58 percent of votes.

Provisional results announced by Senegal’s official counting body last week showed Sall comfortably securing a second term without a run-off vote.

The council confirmed that opposition candidate Idrissa Seck had placed second with 21 percent, while Ousmane Sonko came third with 16 percent.

Sall had been tipped to win after a modernising first term that propelled the West African country’s economic growth to more than six percent – one of the highest on the continent.

Rights groups have criticized him for squeezing out rivals and the opposition rejected the results, but decided not to register an appeal.

More than 66 percent of 6.7 million registered voters took part in the election.

Senegal has long been viewed as the region’s most stable democracy, with peaceful transitions of power since it gained independence from France in 1960.

(Reporting by Diadie Ba; Writing by Juliette Jabkhiro; Editing by Sofia Christensen and Frances Kerry)

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