Friday, March 23, 2012

Senegal Election Run-off Sunday

President Wade facing resistance at home, widely expected to loose
Neighbouring Senegal will hold presidential election run-off on Sunday, if all goes as planned.

Incumbent Abdoulie Wade, 85, is pitted against his former prime minister, now arch political rival, Macky Sall, 50.

None of Senegal’s 14 presidential candidates was able to earn an outright victory – 50 percent - in the first round of voting last month.

This forced the polls, which was preceded by deadly protest against Wade’s third term bid, into a run-off. Wade, who gained 34.8% will take on second placed Sall, who got 26.6%.

Political analysts and observers believe all indications seem to suggest that Abdoulaye Wade, winner of the first round of presidential elections and the incumbent, should be the least happy.

“Sall lacks charisma, but he is highly competent and is capable of bringing down the tension. I think he has a good shot at winning,” said Philippe Hugon, a researcher at the French Institute for International and Strategic Relations (IRIS) and an expert on Senegal.

Infact, Sall has already gathered influential support from runners-up, including third, fourth and fifth placed Moustapha Niasse, Idrissa Seck and Dieng respectively.

“Stopping Wade [from winning a third mandate] is an imperative, it is a necessity, this is a must,” said third placed Moustapha Niasse.

Besides, the June 23 Movement (M23) and homegrown music icon Youssou Ndour has all announced their support for Sall.

However, Wade is believed to have wielded enormous support in that country’s rural areas. And now that he failed to get the support of other opposition coupled with massive activism against him, Wade has announced that he will bank on the 40 % that failed to vote in the first round.

The octogenarian head of state came to power in 2002 after winning Diouf in an election run-off. 
Source: Daily News

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