A 'New Era Begins for Senegal': Macky Sall wins Runoff Presidential Election Against Incumbent

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Common Dreams

A 'New Era Begins for Senegal': Macky Sall wins Runoff Presidential Election Against Incumbent

EU hails Senegal election as a 'great example' for democracy

by
Common Dreams staff

People celebrating the election of Macky Sall as president of Senegal. (photo: Issouf Sanogo/Getty Images)

Macky Sall defeated Senegal's two-term president, and his one-time mentor, in a run-off election on Sunday. The incumbent president, Abdoulaye Wade, conceded defeat in the race, which took place as a result Wade not recieving enough votes in the original February 26 election to hold on to power. In the run-off election Sall bested Wade by a 2-1 margin, according to Al Jazeera English."

"A New Era Begins for Senegal," said Hall, in a speech after the election results came in.

There were concerns that Wade, 85, would not step down from the presidency, even in defeat. "A lot of people could not envisage Abdoulaye Wade ever standing down," said Andrew Simmons, a reporter for Al Jazeera English.  "He was going for a controversial third term, insisting the constitution could be changed against the will of many many people. He really misjudged the electorate of Senegal it would seem."

The African Union and the European Union praised the Senegal election as an example of the "maturity" of the nation, which, according to Agence France-Presse, is viewed as "regional beacon of democracy."

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Macky Sall Senegal election win 'example for Africa' (BBC News):

Senegal's presidential election, which saw the incumbent concede defeat peacefully, has been hailed as a "great victory for democracy" in Africa.

President Abdoulaye Wade has accepted that he was defeated by Macky Sall in Sunday's run-off.

The African Union said Mr Wade's concession showed "maturity" in the country's democracy while the European Union called Senegal a "great example".

Mr Sall addressed thousands of cheering supporters in the capital, Dakar. He promised to be a president for all Senegalese people.

The president-elect, 50, said the poll marks a "new era" for the country.

His rival's bid for a third term in office, after 12 years in power, sparked violent protests which left six people dead.

Official results from Sunday's election are expected within two days.

A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said it was "a great victory for democracy in Senegal and in Africa", reports the AFP news agency. "Senegal is a great example for Africa," he added.

 

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Profile: Macky Sall (Al Jazeera English):

Macky Sall, who once served as prime minsiter under Abdoulaye Wade, is also set to replace his former mentor as Senegal's next president.

Results from Sunday's presidential runoff point to a landslide victory for Sall over Wade, the ageing president who unsuccessfully sought a third term in office.

As a member of the Sengalese Democratic Party (PDS), Sall served as prime minister under Wade between April 2004 and June 2007 and was also the president of the National Assembly between June 2007 and November 2008.

His political career appeared to have peaked under Wade, who ruled the West African nation for almost 12 years.

Sall saw quick political success, and occupied several ministerial portfolios before becoming prime minister.

But he then fell out of favour with Wade's government, quit the party and struck out on his own.

 

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