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Democracy On Display In Senegal

Supporters of Senegalese opposition challenger Macky Sall celebrate their candidates election victory in Dakar March 25, 2012.

Former Prime Minister Macky Sall has been elected as the next president of Senegal.

The votes are in and preliminary returns show that former Prime Minister Macky Sall has been elected as the next president of Senegal. His victory in the March 25 runoff election against two-term President Abdoulaye Wade marks the beginning of a new era for the West African nation. At the same time, however, it continues a tradition of stable government that has been a model to which other emerging democracies could look.

The United States congratulates President-elect Sall and looks forward to close engagement with his government and with the Senegalese people to ensure continued progress and lasting peace in the region.

President Wade was graceful and statesmanlike in his handling of the results, and we thank him for his years of service to the nation. We applaud the people of Senegal for conducting a largely peaceful and well-managed election. Despite challenges leading up to the election, international and domestic observers agree that the balloting was credible, orderly and transparent, a process that other nations can learn from.

Official provisional results were released on March 27, and it has been announced that the inauguration and transfer of power will take place on Monday, April 2. This election demonstrates as U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson said recently, that “Africa's commitment to democracy, to better governance, to improved human rights is on a progressive and positive trajectory forward.”

The United States looks forward to continuing to strengthen our partnership with the people and government of Senegal, and we wish the Senegalese people a future filled with peace and stability.