Elections in Senegal have a long history, going back to 1848 when the citizens of Saint-Louis and Gorée were granted universal (male) suffrage. Although limited in scope, this electoral political culture is an important legacy, and this may explain why the breakdown of the electoral process, which many observers predicted, did not happen.
The unconstitutional candidacy of current President Abdoulaye Wade was the key contentious issue, resulting in many days of protest and police repression which cost the lives of around fifteen people. Despite this tension, election day was extremely peaceful and 65% of voters confidently voted against Wade. Continue reading Lessons from Senegal’s Democracy