DAKAR: Senegal went to the polls on Sunday in an election that incumbent President Macky Sall is tipped to win after his main challengers were banned from running. His two biggest rivals in the first-round vote in the West African nation — popular former Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall and Karim Wade, the son of the previous president — were disqualified after corruption convictions in trials questioned by rights groups. People queued in large numbers as the polling station opened at Fatick in the centre of the country, where Sall, 56, cast his ballot, as well as at Thies in the west, AFP reporters said.
But the start of voting was delayed at Grand-Yoff, the stronghold of Khalifa Sall. “I want to get home as soon as possible, I’m frightened there will be violence on election day,” said 25-year-old voter Fatoumata Sall. “I hope this election goes off peacefully and that tomorrow everyone will be going about their business — that will mean a peaceful vote,” said accountant Lamine Diatta after he cast his ballot in Dakar. President Sall, a former geologist who first took the presidency in 2012 after beating his former political mentor Wade, campaigned for a second term pitching his “Emerging Senegal” infrastructure project to boost economic growth. — AFP