Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade was booed as he cast his vote in a controversial election expected to return him for a third term.
The ballot follows weeks of violent street protests over whether the 85-year-old is eligible to stand. The Constitutional Court accepted his argument that the two-term limit was brought in after he came to power so his first term should not count.
There are 14 candidates in all but several potential challengers were banned from standing – including the man many tipped to defeat Wade, world music star, Youssou N’Dour.
“We won’t accept an electoral coup here in Senegal,” he told reporters after casting his vote. “The Senegalese are not stupid. We worked all last year to awaken the consciousness of our citizens and I think everyone’s heard us loud and clear.”
Despite the pre-election unrest, voting was orderly with people waiting patiently in queues to cast their ballot. Strong support for Wade in rural areas is expected to ensure his victory.