Senegalese voters return to the polls on Sunday in the country’s crucial presidential runoff to exercise their rights and made their voices heard through a peaceful, democratic election.
Reports say the 85-year-old incumbent Abdoulaye Wade is faced with massive opposition for his controversial bid for a third term.
Wade’s bid for a third term sparked nationwide protests in which at least six people were killed and many others injured.
Wade has faced a stiff challenge from former prime minister Macky Sall, who reportedly has the full weight of the opposition behind him.
The Senegal government government proclaimed Macky Sall as the the country’s new president.
The United States today hailed Senegal for holding a peaceful election.
US Department Spokesperson says the election was an important step forward for democracy in Africa and for the Senegalese people.
“I would like to congratulate Macky Sall on his victory and his hard-fought campaign.” -Ms. Nuland
She also thanked Abdoulaye Wade for his twelve years of leadership and dedicated service to the Senegalese people.
The United States applauds the people of Senegal for conducting a peaceful and well-managed presidential election, Ms. Nuland tressed.
The United States congratulates all the Senegalese authorities and institutions responsible for the organization of the election process, which international and domestic observers agree was credible, orderly, and transparent.
“We look forward to continuing to strengthen our partnership with the people and government of Senegal, and we wish all the Senegalese people a future filled with peace and prosperity.” -Ms. Nuland
In addition, the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU) Jean Ping also warmly congratulates the people and the political leaders of Senegal on the successful organization of the second round of the presidential election.
The AU chief commends the serenity and calm in which the Senegalese went to the polls.
The choice of alternation and the recognition, by the outgoing President, of the victory of his adversary, are eloquent testimony to the vitality of democracy in Senegal and the maturity of the Senegalese political actors, which not only honor Senegal, but also the continent as a whole. The smooth organization of the presidential election is proof that Africa, despite difficulty, continues to make significant progress in the area of democracy and electoral transparency.
Wade came to power as a democratic reformer, having been imprisoned during decades in the opposition. However, his rule has been characterized by intense media repression, including imprisonments, police intimidation, and judicial harassment of critical journalists, according to CPJ research. Powerful officials or security forces involved in intimidating the press have rarely faced justice, CPJ research has found.
Senegal is said to be the only nation on mainland West Africa not to have seen a coup or civil war since independence.