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Senegal presidential poll: 44-year-old opposition leader, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, leads

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Opposition leader Bassirou Diomaye Faye is leading in the early race in Senegal’s presidential election, according to local media.

Several of the 17 candidates have conceded to him, but Faye’s main rival, Amadou Ba, from the ruling coalition, said a run-off might happen to determine the winner.

Mr. Ba’s campaign organization said: “Considering the feedback of the results from our team of experts, we are certain that, in the worst-case scenario, we will go to a run-off.”

Persecondnews reports that millions took part in a peaceful vote on Sunday, following three years of turbulence and opposition protests against the incumbent, Macky Sall.

The first set of tallies announced on television showed Mr. Faye had won the majority of votes, triggering widespread street celebrations in the capital, Dakar.

Supporters set off fireworks, waved Senegalese flags, and blew vuvuzelas.

The results led to five opposition candidates declaring Mr. Faye the winner. Anta Babacar Ngom, the only female candidate, wished Mr. Faye success in a statement.

However, Mr. Faye has not yet commented.

The results being announced are from local media, tallying the results posted outside individual polling stations.

The number of polling stations counted so far, out of 15,633, remains unclear. Official results are expected by Tuesday.

Mr. Sonko backed Mr. Faye, the co-creator of his now-dissolved Pastef party, who was also detained almost a year ago on charges including defamation and contempt of court.

This month’s amnesty law permitted their release days before the vote.

They have campaigned together under the banner “Diomaye is Sonko.” Some high-profile politicians and opposition candidates have backed Mr. Faye’s candidature.

“The population is choosing between continuation and rupture,” Mr. Faye said after casting his vote, urging contenders to accept the winner.

Mr. Sall, the incumbent, was not on the ballot for the first time in Senegal’s history. His ruling coalition picked Mr. Ba, 62, a former prime minister.

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