Challengers give Sall victory in Senegal

March 26, 2012 at 1:20 PM

DAKAR, Senegal, March 26 (UPI) -- Most opposition candidates in Senegal threw their support behind former Prime Minister Macky Sall to secure a runoff victory, the president acknowledged.

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade was unable to secure a third term in office following a weekend runoff vote. He admitted defeat after most of the opposition candidates backed challenger and Sall, the BBC reports.

The BBC described Sall as a political protege of Wade's, though both sides fell out of favor in part because of the public spending habits of Karim Wade, the president's son.

Sall described the victory as a "new era" for the Senegalese people.

Wade secured the right to seek a third term after a court ruled he was exempt from a term limit because the laws were adopted after his inaugural election in 2000.

The United Nations said it had evidence that at least four people, including a police officer, were killed in political violence in the wake of the announcement.

Sall said he'd impose a five-year term limit for the presidency if elected.

He won 26.5 percent of the vote compared to 34.8 percent for Wade during the first round of voting in February.

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