Senegal Election Commission warns against early calls

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Senegal’s electoral commission on Monday urged presidential candidates and their supporters to avoid making premature declarations about the outcome of Sunday’s vote.

The call came after Senegal’s prime minister claimed that the party’s unofficial results showed incumbent President Macky Sall had won re-election. That declaration was rejected however by two opposition candidates who asserted the vote would go to a runoff.

Senegal’s electoral commission said that the Feb. 24 elections went generally well nationwide and abroad, adding that vote counting continued Monday and results are being collected by “authorized structures.”

“It is the Constitutional Council that will carry out the final proclamation of the results,” it said, once all votes are tallied and properly transmitted.

The commission “calls on the candidates and their supporters, as well as the actors of the civil society and the population, to abstain from making any premature declaration on the results,” it said in a statement. “It calls on the usual the political actors to adopt the same exemplary behavior as that observed by the citizens, who put forward their civic spirit” on Sunday.

Opposition candidate Ousmane Sonko, who is popular with the youth, also spoke at the press conference with Seck and agreed that preliminary results indicate a second round should be held.

“I call on the religious leaders to call the ruling party to their senses,” said Sonko.

If no candidate wins a clear majority of more than 50 percent, the country will go to a second round of voting next month.