Thursday, April 12, 2012

Post-Elections

So, after a lovely vacation, some time at the office in Dakar, and a visit to Thies to meet the new group of Health Volunteers (who seem really great) during their Pre-Service Training, I'm finally back in Kedougou. It's been a busy month so I have a bit of catch-up to do, and it seems like the best place to start is with the elections, which are totally over now.

There was some unrest in parts of the bigger cities during the first campaign period, so everyone was a little nervous about how things would play out, but much to our relief the first round of elections in February went very, very smoothly. The now-former president, Abdoulaye Wade, had rigged things so that he could run for a third six-year term (which is completely unconstitutional) and many people were understandably upset by this. The first round of elections narrowed the field down to two candidates, Wade and Macky Sall, for the second runoff election in March. The BBC covered the Senegal elections, the election run-off, and the April 2nd swearing-in of President Macky Sall. It's been an interesting time for Senegal, and I'm really glad that the elections went smoothly. Guinea's troubled transition to civilian rule in 2010 and last month's coup in Mali really make me appreciate how valuable - and difficult - it can be to hang on to stability and peaceful political transitions.

Supporters of President Macky Sall

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