Date:26 Feb 2012
Polls open in tumultuous Senegal elections
Polls opened at 8am today in Senegal and about 5.1million registered voters are expected to cast their votes and select a leader from 14 contesting candidates which includes incumbent president Abdoulaye Wade amidst tight security in most polling centers around the country.
This is President Wade's third term bid for the presidency having defied opposition efforts to block him from standing on the basis of constitutional changes limiting the presidential terms to only two mandates and also warnings that his candidacy risked destabilizing the usually peaceful West African nation.
Reports reaching AEP states that, so far voting is taking place in a calm atmosphere with voter turnout quite low in most places. However it is believed with time a lot more voters will turn up to cast their vote.
Wade is facing 13 opposition candidates including three former prime ministersIdrissa Seck, Macky Sall, Moustapha Niasse who served under his regime and socialist leader Ousmane Tanor Dieng.
Today’s voting is seen as test of Senegal's democratic credentials, prompting international concern after weeks of sporadic protests left six people dead.
Polls close at 1800 GMT. Follow AEP on twitter for updates throughout the day.