Senegal President Macky Sall's ruling coalition says it won 30 of the country's 46 administrative departments, giving it a majority in parliament following Sunday's legislative election.

Sunday's polls were an important test for Sall after local elections in March saw the opposition win in major cities, including Dakar, Ziguinchor in the south and Thies in the west.
Sunday's polls were an important test for Sall after local elections in March saw the opposition win in major cities, including Dakar, Ziguinchor in the south and Thies in the west. (AFP)

President Macky Sall's ruling coalition claimed victory in Senegal's legislative elections but the opposition rejected the assertion as a "prefabricated majority".

"We won 30 departments" out of the 46 in the west African country and overseas constituencies, Aminata Toure, head of the presidential coalition, told reporters late on Sunday.

"This undoubtedly gives us a majority in the National Assembly."

"We have given a majority in the National Assembly to our coalition president", Sall, she added, without giving the number of seats won by her camp or whether it was an absolute or relative majority.

Toure however acknowledged her coalition had been defeated in the capital Dakar in Sunday's vote.

The opposition was swift in rejecting Toure's claims.

Barthelemy Dias, a leader of the main opposition coalition headed by former presidential candidate Ousmane Sonko, spoke of "vulgar lies" and a "prefabricated majority" on private radio RFM.

The opposition had hoped the elections would impose a cohabitation, or divided government, on Sall and curb any ambitions he may have for a third term.

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Opposition collaboration

Some seven million Senegalese were eligible to vote in the election, which passed without any major incidents.

Turnout at several polling stations appeared relatively low, according to AFP news agency correspondents and observers, and the interior ministry said participation had reached 22 percent by 1 pm.

Provisional overall results are expected no later than Friday.

The national election commission has deployed 22,000 observers nationwide. Experts from the regional ECOWAS bloc were also present.

This year, eight coalitions were in the running, including Yewwi Askan Wi ("Liberate the People" in Wolof), the main opposition coalition of Sonko, which came third in the 2019 presidential election.

Ahead of the poll, Yewwi Askan Wi joined forces with Wallu Senegal ("Save Senegal"), led by former president Abdoulaye Wade.

The two groups agreed to work together to obtain a parliamentary majority and "force governmental cohabitation".

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Source: AFP