According to various news sources, Senegal has a new president, Macky Sall. Assuming the hand-off of power is smooth and uneventful, this is great news for Senegal (and sets a good example for other West African nations). There were reports of vote-buying, paid “supporters” – but people stayed informed and determined, and there was a high voter turnout today for this second round of elections.
I got a text from my best Senegalese friend as soon as the reports came out that President Wade called Sall to concede defeat, and one of our night guards did quite a crazy African dance when we went outside to tell him congratulations. Our friends around town are reporting celebrations in the streets. Felicitations, Senegal.
Side note: living here has made me realize how, well, big America is. The comments below the elections story on Seneweb included phrases (in English) like “YES WE CAN!” and “YES WE DID!” All political persuasions aside, it shows how closely watched the U.S. of A. really is. From Rihanna on the radio to random backpacks with President Obama’s face on them, ‘merica is permeating.