Polls open in tense Senegal vote
Feb 26, 2012, 13:21 GMT
Dakar - Voting was underway Sunday in Senegal's presidential election, where incumbent leader Abdoulaye Wade is standing for a controversial third term.
The capital, Dakar, has been rocked by daily protests in the run-up to the vote. The opposition has been calling for Wade to step aside.
The country's constitution bans anyone from holding the country's top post for more than two terms, but Wade maintains that the limit does not apply to him because he came to power before the rule was introduced.
On Saturday, former Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo appealed for calm on polling day. Obasanjo is leading a joint African Union and ECOWAS mission to the country, designed to observe the vote and broker peace talks between the opposition and ruling party.
Polls opened at 8 am (0800 GMT) in Africa's westernmost point, where some 5.3 million people are registered to vote, and were due to close at 6 pm local time, with initial results expected on Monday.
President Wade faces competition from 13 opposition candidates in the vote, including several of his former allies and two female candidates.
If no candidate wins an absolute majority, a second round will be held by mid-March.