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Senegal's Sall hails presidential win

Senegal's Sall hails presidential win
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Thousands of people have taken to the streets of the Senegalese capital, Dakar, to celebrate the presidential election victory of Macky Sall.

It comes after the incumbent Abdoulaye Wade conceded defeat in a move some analysts say could bolster the state’s democratic credentials.

Senegal is the only nation on mainland West Africa not to have seen a coup or civil war since independence.

Opposition activists had said Wade’s quest for a third term was unconstitutional and some voters viewed him as yet another example of a long-serving African leader seeking to hang onto power.

But his former protege and prime minister, Sall, was quick to praise his rival and promised to be a ruler for the whole country.

“The big winner tonight is the Senegalese people,” Sall, 50, said of a smoothly-held election that contrasted with the chaos in neighbouring Mali after last week’s coup by army mutineers.

Wade, 85, in power since 2000, began his career as president with a sterling democratic reputation but drew criticism for seeking to extend his rule with a third term, setting off street protests in which six people were killed.