Senegal sets Precedent for Africa
Analysts are predicting a peaceful second runoff in Senegal’s Presidential elections, between the incumbent, Abdoulaye Wade and his former prime minister Macky Sall.
‘‘The first round of elections were free and fair ,and I believe the second round will equally be the same in terms of transparency’’ Dr David Zoumenou, a Senior Researcher on Africa at the Institute for Security Studies told Africa witness.
He said, he equally believes the election will be peaceful. ‘‘I think Senegal is setting a good precedent for other African countries to follow, by holding peaceful and transparent elections’’ he observed.
The electoral commission of Senegal announced March 25, as the date for the second round runoff.
In the first round, 85 year old- wade, who has been in power for 12 years, polled 34.8 per cent of the vote, an equivalent of 942,546 votes. While his former prime minister now -turned-challenger Macky Sall obtained 26.5 per cent equivalent to 719,369 votes.
Unlike in other African countries, where hundreds of people are killed in election related violence, the Senegalese Red Cross said only six people had lost their lives as a result of poll-linked violence.
Critics of President Wade, accuse him of clanging on to power, by biding for a third term.
‘‘wade himself passed the bill in parliament limiting presidential terms to only two, but now he wants to abrogate the country’s constitution to suit his interest’’ Yusuf Mustapha, a Senegalese national living in South Africa told Africa witness in a telephone interview.
He said Senegalese nationals in South Africa were closely following the politics back home. South Africa has a small Senegalese population, mainly dealing in textile trade.
The Campaign for the runoff vote is expected to commence this week Thursday.
Senegal is one of Africa’s pioneer democracies, which boasts an unbroken series of elections since independence in 1960.
( Report by Hassan Isilow)