Tag Archives: Senegal election

Senegal: EU observers say outright win for Wade unlikely

Reuters Africa

By Bate Felix

DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade is unlikely to have won Sunday’s first-round presidential vote, the head of the EU observer mission said on Tuesday, adding to expectations Wade will have to fight a tough run-off to secure a third term.

“There will probably be a second round as any other outcome seems improbable, according to what we have heard so far,” Thijs Berman told a news conference in Dakar as partial returns showed Wade in the lead with about a third of the vote – well short of the more than 50 percent needed to secure a first-round win.

Wade’s bid for a third term at the age of 85 has sparked weeks of street protests in the usually peaceful West African state, but voting on Sunday was calm and well-organised. Critics say the constitution bans Wade from seeking a third term.

Wade told reporters late on Monday he estimated his score at 32.17 percent of the vote according to tallies from around 50 percent of polling stations, adding that a first-round victory or second round were still possible. His former ally Macky Sall has around 25 percent, according to unofficial counts.

“When a candidate says he has 32 percent based on around half of the results already, it is difficult to see him getting over 50 percent,” noted Berman.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson also said late on Monday that a second round was probable.

Washington has said Wade’s decision to seek a new mandate could pose a risk to Senegal’s stability and urged him to make way for a new generation of leaders.

Authorities have until Friday to declare official results, with legal appeals possible. A second round will follow a few weeks after that. Read more…

Senegal goes to polls after weeks of protests


Senegal is going to the polls, with incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade’s bid for a third term having sparked deadly protests in one of Africa’s most stable countries.

Around 5.3 million people are registered to vote. Voting began at 8am local time on Sunday and will run until 6pm.

The former French colony is one of the continent’s pioneer democracies, boasting an unbroken series of elections since independence in 1960.

The election takes place amid appeals for calm by Thomas Boni Yayi, African Union president, and for “peaceful and transparent” elections by Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, who also said he was “concerned”.

However, Wade’s third term bid is proving a test of Senegal’s democratic credentials, prompting international concern after weeks of protests.

Wade, 85, is facing 13 opposition candidates including three former prime ministers Idrissa Seck, Macky Sall, Moustapha Niasse and socialist leader Ousmane Tanor Dieng.

None has emerged as a front-runner against Wade.  Read more…