Senegal’s Wade defeated at own polling station

February 26th, 2012

PressTv- Senegal’s octogenarian President Abdoulaye Wade, who is seeking a controversial third term in office, has been defeated at his own polling station in the capital Dakar.

According to the state Senegalese Press Agency (APS), on Sunday, 484 votes were cast in the polling center in the suburb of Point E, where Wade finished second behind former Prime Minister Moustapha Niasse with 102 votes to 152.

Hundreds of voters booed the president and chanted “Wade go away” in the local Wolof language as the 85-year-old attended the station.

There are some 5.3 million registered voters in the West African nation. According to initial estimates by the national electoral commission, voter turnout in the polls has been about 60 percent.

The 14 candidates include top rivals, Macky Sall and Idrissa Seck, both former prime ministers under Wade.

Despite facing serious opposition among the Senegalese urban classes, Wade is very popular in the rural areas and claims he will win the election.

The election came after a month of deadly protests against Wade’s presidential bid.

Related: NewsRescue- Violence in Senegal as ‘Democracy fails Africa’ again

Tensions escalated on January 27 after the Constitutional Council, appointed by Wade and known as the five wise men, gave the president the green light to run in the election.

The legality of Wade’s bid has been challenged.

Wade — whose first election in 2000 ended 40 years of rule by Socialist Party, revised the constitution in 2001 to impose a two-term-long limit on the presidency. He argues that he is exempt from the provisions of the charter because he was elected before it was drafted.

In the council’s ruling in favor of Wade’s candidature, the judges stated that his first term under the new constitution should be the one that started after he was first reelected in 2007.