Another boost for Senegal's Sall

2012-03-02 22:16
Dakar - Senegal opposition candidate Macky Sall has won a major boost in his bid to oust President Abdoulaye Wade in a run-off vote, securing the endorsement of the man who came third in the first round.

The west African nation's main opposition movement has also called on its supporters and other failed candidates to rally behind Sall, who will challenge the 85-year-old Wade in the second round election on March 18 or 25.

"We are joining hands in order to take the lead... We are not far from that goal," Moustapha Niasse said after meeting Sall on Thursday, local media reported on Friday.

"Change is inevitable," added Niasse, who came third in the first round vote on February 26 and like Sall is a former prime minister.

Wade short of majority vote

Wade is bidding for a controversial third term in office in a move that has triggered weeks of sometimes deadly protests in Senegal, a country usually regarded as a beacon of democracy in west Africa.

Wade, who has been in power for 12 years, garnered 34.8% of the vote in the first round, but fell humiliatingly short of the majority needed to avoid a run-off.

His 50-year-old rival Sall won 26.5% of the vote while Niasse trailed with 13.2%.

Sall hailed Niasse's "patriotic" decision to unite behind his candidacy, promising to "put in place a government of the people".

The opposition June 23 Movement (M23) urged its members, including Niasse and other failed candidates, to "prove their patriotism and put aside their personal problems for the superior interest of Senegal" and support Sall.

"We must all mobilise together, to deliver the killer blow and put an end to this regime," M23 co-ordinator Alioune Tine said on Thursday.

UN chief calls for ‘civic responsibility’

Sall has also won the influential support of homegrown music icon Youssou Ndour in his bid to thwart the sit-tight leader.

"The change is already there, now it is just a matter of putting it into action," Ndour told journalists after meeting with Sall.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called for "civic responsibility" in Senegal ahead of the second round.

"As the country prepares for a second round of voting to determine its future leadership, the secretary general appeals, once again, for the same spirit of civic responsibility and democratic commitment to prevail throughout the process," his spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

Nesirky said the United Nations "will continue to support national efforts towards a peaceful, credible and transparent conclusion of the presidential election in Senegal".

Meanwhile, M23 has called a gathering on Saturday in Dakar in memory of the six people killed in rioting ahead of the first round vote.
Read more on:    macky sall  |  abdoulaye wade  |  senegal  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.