Senegal: Opposition Rallies Support Ahead Of Runoff Polls

 Thousands of opposition supporters have rallied in Senegal's capital in support of presidential candidate Macky Sall, but President Abdoulaye Wade's campaign says he has the right strategy to win a runoff vote later this month.


The crowd in Dakar Sunday chanted and held up signs, and the 12 candidates who lost in the first round of voting running against Mr. Wade pledged their support for Mr. Sall.


The opposition candidate addressed the rally, saying he would not betray their trust, and would fight to strengthen Senegal's political institutions.


“We're putting an end to social injustice. We are putting an end to waste, and corruption which is conducted in this government. We are putting the resources of this country at working people's disposal, at the disposal of the Senegalese school for health, we are working for the people.”


Mr. Sall said he would put an end to corruption and waste in the government.


A spokesman for Mr. Wade's campaign told VOA the president is pursuing a nationwide strategy seeking support for the March 25 election. He said the opposition and its rally in Dakar are not something they fear.


“At the same time, President Wade is in the country. He is in Diourbel talking with Senegalese, with citizens, with some leaders, and we don't care about what they do at the Obelisk Square because they have their right to make a demonstration. But we are not afraid because it is just a demonstration.”


Mr. Wade won 35 percent in the first round of voting, compared to 26 percent for Mr. Sall.


Opposition leaders have complained that President Wade's bid for a third term is unconstitutional, citing a reform he signed into law in 2001 that limits presidents to two terms. The presidentially appointed Constitutional Court ruled in January the reform does not apply retroactively to Mr. Wade's first term.


The decision sparked riots, with protesters clashing with police. The pre-election violence killed several people, although demonstrations eased in the days leading up to the vote in late February.

Via VoaNews

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