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Senegal presidential runoff set for 25 March

Senegal’s electoral commission on Monday set the date for a runoff vote between incumbent president Abdoulaye Wade (pictured) and challenger Macky Sall for 25 March. The race has been marred by violent battles between police and protesters.

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AFP - Senegal's presidential election second round run-off between the incumbent Abdoulaye Wade and ex-prime minister Macky Sall will be held March 25, the electoral commission announced Monday.

Wade, who is 85, on Saturday called for a recount of the first round vote in a southern constituency, which has to be examined within five days by the constitutional council.

Under the constitution, the second round must take place on the third Sunday following the last date for publication of the disputed result, in this case March 25.

But whatever the council decision, it was not expected to significantly change the results of the first round which took place on February 26.

The campaign for the run-off vote will start as soon as final results have been published, or Thursday at the latest.

Wade, who has been in power for 12 years and is bidding for a third term in office in a move that has triggered weeks of sometimes deadly protests, won 34.8 percent of the vote in the first round, according to provisional results.

He is thereby well short of the majority needed to avoid a run-off.

His former premier-turned-challenger Macky Sall, 50, won 26.5 percent.

Turnout stood at 51.5 percent.

The poll-linked violence has claimed between six and 15 lives, according to various sources. The Senegalese Red Cross said it had treated 153 people for injuries in less than a month.

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