DAKAR, March 24 — After two weeks of campaigns for Senegal’s second round of presidential elections, which will be contested by incumbent Abdoulaye Wade and his former prime minister Macky Sall, Senegalese voters are set to go to the polls on Sunday to choose their future president.
They will choose between Wade’s program which is based on his performance in the past 12 years and the program of his rival Sall, who is proposing reforms in various sectors.
During the campaign period, Wade avoided the large meetings and made visits to specific voting groups to pass his message. He adopted “Weedi guiss bokku tie” (we cannot deny the evidence) as his slogan.
Wade highlighted his achievements, including the accomplishment of a number of infrastructure projects such as roads, a new airport, new bridges and intersections. He said he managed to rehabilitate the country’s public transport system.
“In 12 years, we have achieved a record performance in the economic sector by stabilizing all economic fundamentals and this has helped us to record an average annual growth rate of 4 percent to 5 percent. We have also achieved a considerable growth in our state budget from 500 billion FCFA (1 billion U. S. dollars) to 2, 200 billion FCFA (4.4 billion dollars),” Wade told his supporters.
And it is on the basis of his good performance to complete the projects like the Diass airport and national roads that President Wade is asking for a new term.
As for Sall, he has chosen “Yoonu Yokkute” (the way of development) as his slogan.
As opposed to Wade, Sall moved around the country and organized large meetings to convince voters to support him.
Among the policies that he intends to execute once elected are the introduction of universal social protection, which will mainly provide family security loans, universal medical cover and improved retirement benefits.
Sall is also talking about creating more jobs for the youth and investing about 2,000 billion FCFA (4 billion dollars) in the rural areas.
Other measures promised by candidate Sall include reducing the price of basic foodstuffs in the first week of his rule, if elected.
A spotlight of his political reforms is to reduce the period of the presidential term from the current seven years to five years, which will only be renewed once. He promised that he will personally honor this constitutional provision.
On good governance, he promised to reduce the number of ministers to 25, cut government expenditure and audit all public accounts.
The candidates ended their election campaigns on Friday without major incidents reported.
The National Autnomous Electoral Commission (CENA), which is charged with the responsibility of supervising the elections, on Friday gave an assurance that the vote will be free and fair.
CENA has deployed 18,098 supervisors and clerks across the West African country.
As many as 90 observers from the European Union are also deployed on the ground. The mission head, Thijs Bermanand, on Friday made an appeal for calm and peace at a press conference held in the capital Dakar.
Former Nigerian president Olesugun Obasanjo, who is heading the electoral observer mission of the African Union Commission and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), told reporters on Friday that he was looking forward to a run-off held peacefully.
Outgoing President Wade got 942,546 votes, or 34.82 percent, against Sall’s 719,369 votes, or 26.57 percent, in the first round held on Feb. 26.
Sall, also ex-speaker of parliament, has urged the 12 loosing candidates in the first round to back him. A number of the candidates have expressed determination to unite and defeat Wade.
Wade, 85, is seeking a new term of office amid strong opposition from his rivals.
Source : xinhuanet
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