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Senegal’s New President Vies for Majority

Senegal's President Macky Sall arrives at the presidential palace after his inauguration in Dakar April 2, 2012. (Reuters)
Senegalese voters will soon find out who their lawmakers will be under new President Macky Sall’s government after results are announced from Sunday’s legislative polls. Turnout was low.

Sall supporter and election official Adji Mergane Kanoute said Sall’s party is seeking a majority of the 150 parliamentary seats.

“Without the control of parliament, Macky Sall cannot pass acts and advance his agenda,” she said. “That agenda is an ambitious one,” added Kanoute.

“He wants to address development everywhere in every sector…he is going to help women’s rights and with youth unemployment. There are a lot of projects that he has for the development of Senegal and Senegalese,” she said.

A spokesman for Sall’s government, Mbaye Thiam, said Sall is hoping for a majority of legislators from his party to get elected so that he can pass new laws, such as what Thiam described as a plan for universal healthcare in the West African country.

This election is also the first in which national parity, a law that dictates that half of each party’s candidates up for election are female, went into place. That law was passed under former President Abdoulaye Wade, whose party posed one of the biggest threats to Sall’s in the legislative elections.

The vote comes just months after Sall defeated incumbent Wade in a run-off to win the presidency.

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