Senegal's Sall holds 'courteous' meeting with president-elect Faye

Senegal's anti-establishment leader Bassirou Diomaye Faye, whose weekend election victory could be officially confirmed within days, was welcomed at the presidential palace Thursday by outgoing leader Macky Sall.

The meeting, which came after weeks of crisis surrounding the vote, suggested a swift and peaceful handover in the West African nation that prides itself on democratic stability in a coup-hit region.

Faye, 44, was only freed from prison 10 days before the election, along with his mentor Ousmane Sonko, who was barred from running following a criminal conviction he says was politically motivated.

The outgoing president received both men in what his office called "a courteous meeting where they discussed at length the major issues for the state, as well as the inauguration ceremony".

According to provisional results, Faye won the first round of the vote outright with 54.3 percent, far ahead of Sall's hand-picked candidate, former prime minister Amadou Ba.

He came second with 35.8 percent of the vote.

Senegal's Constitutional Court could declare Faye the official winner before the weekend, which would make a handover possible before April 2, the official end of Sall's term.

Sall provoked a political crisis in February by suspending the presidential election just days before polls were to open, citing security concerns.

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