May the Best Candidate Win

The Senegalese elections are here! This Sunday, Senegalese citizens will
vote and elect their next president for the next five years. At a time when
the US State Dept. declared a level 2 warning for US citizens, I am
watching the political festivities on the family television set and making
sure I don’t get hurt or create an uproar with the people I encounter.
The incumbent, Macky Sall, and four other contenders are currently around
Senegal gathering the necessary votes to obtain the majority win or else
there will be a second round of voting in mid-March. Currently, Macky Sall
is the frontrunner of the race followed by Sonko and Seck who are
neck-to-neck with each other. There are many topics candidates are
currently debating on: education, unemployment, healthcare, and most
controversial, Senegal’s position in the CFA zone and their relations with
global powerhouses investing in the West African region (think France and
China). Here is a good link to follow the results on the 24th (

Being a member in a politically-engaged house, I see how my host mother
wears her Macky Sall shirt with pride while selling her vegetables, or how
my host dad hosts Idy Seck speak-ups at our household. It is stimulating
yet terrifying to bring up politics during meals as my host parents would
bicker why their candidate will fulfill their aspirations in Senegal and
make points that would leave the other speechless. Outside my host
compound, my host city blossoms into a rally ground for the different
candidates and you could hear the discourse of passionate Senegalese
citizens until 2 am (which also affects my sleeping schedule). With
candidates like Niang and Macky Sall already passing through, it is very
hard to walk around the city and miss the blaring music from the speakers
on top of trucks or the fliers that cover bus stops.

On a separate note, I cannot believe that there are only 40-something days
left on this crazy journey. To everyone in Senegal who influenced my time
here for the best: Dama leen begg turop!! I will probably make 1 or 2 more
blog posts in Senegal. Jerejef.

*P.S. this blog post is meant to be a curious yet informational observation
on the Senegalese elections