Senegal’s election, lesson to African leaders – AU

Buya Jammeh, AfricaNews reporter in Dakar, Senegal

The African Union and ECOWAS Observer missions have commended Senegalese for the political maturity shown during the presidential run-off poll; the missions further stated that Senegal’s election in which incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade conceded defeat was an example to all African leaders

Speaking to journalists at a press conference Monday AU mission led by former Nigerian Leader Olusegun Obasanjo said “We hope that what has happened in Senegal will be emulated in other countries in Africa.” Adding that Wade congratulated his counterpart; that’s something other leaders in Africa can learn from.”


After a tumultuous first round of voting marked by riots over Wade’s candidacy for a third term which the opposition denounced as unconstitutional, Obasanjo said his team had noticed “tremendous” improvements in the election.

While the vote reflected the will of the people, his team said voter turnout still appeared low after a 51 percent showing in the February 26 poll, although final figures are not yet out.

The first round had been rocked by violent protests over Wade’s candidacy and Obasanjo made a proposal which bewildered many on the eve of the vote, suggesting Wade serve another two years in office in a bid to appease both sides.

A month later, however, opposition candidate Macky Sall ousted Wade at the ballot box, showing “democracy is alive and going from strength to strength … in this country,” Obasanjo said.”We can all learn the right lesson from this. If an election anywhere in Africa is conducted as it should be, the result will be acceptable to all those involved.”

He said the election was also a lesson to leaders who try to cling to power.

On his part Kofi Sama head of the Economic Community of West African states (ECOWAS) said “On the whole, the Mission noted that there was no major obstacle or incident that could have rendered the voting process irregular. Adding that while awaiting the end of the tallying process, which is being observed in certain regions (Dakar, Thiès, Diourbel, Fatick, Kaolack, Kaffrine), the Mission considers that the 25 March run-off Presidential Election generally met the conditions of freedom, fairness and transparency.

The ECOWAS mission head further hailed the sense of civic duty of the Senegalese citizens who turned out in a disciplined manner to exercise their voting rights. The former Togolese Premier underscored the significant participation of women, saying that move deserves commendation.

“The Mission considers that this ballot will certainly mark a further step toward consolidating the democratic gains and political stability of Senegal. It calls for the collective consciousness of all Senegalese nationals who should put first the high interest of the Nation in the completion of this electoral process”, he concluded.



Posted by on Apr 19 2012. Filed under African News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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