Unofficial polls in Senegal suggest the presidential election there might have to go to a second round.
The two main rivals, the incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade and Macky Sall appear to be neck and neck in a vote that was mired in controversy even before the polling stations opened.
The 85-year-old president was booed as he cast his vote. His decision to stand for a third term, even though the constitution only allows two, sparked anger.
His main rival is a former Wade protege and fellow liberal Macky Sall, who was Prime Minister before falling out with the President in 2008.
Student Pierre Ignace Sagnan said: “We saw that the Senegalese people are wise and people voted in huge numbers. The President maybe thought he was going to win in the first round but people showed we’ve had enough of him and he should go.”
Senegal’s top legal body had approved Wade’s candidature sparking street clashes. He had argued that the two-term limit was brought in after he had come to power and so his first term did not count.
Our correspondent in Dakar, Francois Chignac, said: “It’s here at Macky Sall’s headquarters – or simply Macky as the Seneglaese call him – where a major part of the second round will be played out.
The comings-and-goings of Dakar businessmen here indicate that maybe something is changing in this country. But the Senegalese people are very cautious. If he wants to win the second round, Macky Sall will have to rally the opposition, and though they’re certainly vocal, they are not united.”
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