Monday, February 27, 2012

Senegal headed for second round: unofficial results

A combination of two pictures taken in February 2012 in Dakar shows (at L) current Senegalese president and presidential candidate Abdoulaye Wade and (at R) former Prime Minister and opposition candidate of the Alliance pour la Republique (APR) Macky Sall. Senegal tallied results on February 27, 2012 in an election in which incumbent Abdoulaye Wade, who is seeking to extend his rule with a disputed third term, was greeted by jeers as he cast his ballot. Wade's former protege and prime minister Macky Sall's camp said early results showed the two were "neck-on-neck" and headed to a second round. Spokesman Jean-Paul Dias said Wade was polling between 34 and 36 percent, while Sall stood between 32 and 34 percent. AFP PHOTO  

By (AFP)

DAKAR,

Senegal looked headed for a second round of voting in a fraught election in which President Abdoulaye Wade is seeking a disputed third term, local media and opposition candidates said Monday.

However the 85-year-old leader's camp warned it was too early to note a significant trend.

Former Wade protege Macky Sall, an ex-prime minister, is making a strong showing in unofficial results trickling in from polling stations.

"The figures in our possession, published in the media, and the trends from polling stations show that a second round is inevitable," the 51-year-old said in a statement published on his website.

"We have won the biggest departments in the country. We have won in each of the four departments in the Dakar region.

"I warn the sorcerer's apprentices against any attempt to confiscate the people's will. The massive rejection of the outgoing president has been shown in the results."

Sall is taking part in elections for the first time.

The mayor of the western city of Fatick fell out of favour with his former mentor Wade in 2008 after serving in several ministerial portfolios and as prime minister.

The country has been in suspense over who the main contender will be in a wide-open field of 13 opposition candidates, with Sall named among three other big guns as the best placed to take on the 85-year-old incumbent.

However El Hadj Amadou Sall of the incumbent's campaign team warned there were "no heavy trends" and nothing indicated that there would be a second round of voting.

Wade is seeking a third term in office after circumventing a two-term limit he introduced into the constitution. He says changes extending term lengths from five to seven years made in 2008 allow him a fresh mandate.

The country's highest court upheld his argument which sparked a month of riots in one of Africa's most stable nations, leaving six dead.

The defiant leader was roundly booed as he cast his ballot at his own polling station on Sunday, where early results show he was trounced by another former prime minister, Moustapha Niasse, with Sall placing third.

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