#Senegal registers over 5million voters in under 3 months

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Some 5,149,044 people have been registered for Senegal’s legislative elections slated for July. Total population was estimated at 12,855,153 in 2011.

The registration of voters was completed by May 31st, 2012 by the electoral operations department, which is affiliated to the General Directorate of Elections, for the forthcoming legislative polls slated for July 1st.

The figure includes around 34,275 new voters registered in the wake of last March’s presidential poll.

Abroad, about 205,920 Senegalese citizens will cast their ballots in 42 countries, while some 11,972 polling stations are spread across the country, totaling no less than 6,192 voting centers.

According to the electoral code, a total of 22,685 military personnel on the computerized voter’s list will turn out to vote a week ahead of the election.

Twenty-four political parties and coalitions are vying for the 150 seat available in the National Assembly, with gender equality fresh in the mind after the gender equity law came into effect on June 11th, 2011 for representation in elected office.

In accordance with the new law Senegal’s 14th National Assembly will consist of 75 male and 75 female MPs, representing a radical departure from the composition of the erstwhile assembly when female MPs represented only 18.5 percent.

Taking inspiration from the law on gender parity, the 2012 legislative polls will witness a woman, Ndella Madior Diouf, at the head of a coalition dubbed Petaw (the Wolof word for cowry).

Two religious clerics are also posing as candidates for seats in the National Assembly.

Cheikh Ahmadou Kara Mbacke, who belongs to the influential Mourid Brotherhood, known for his support of former President Abdoulaye Wade in the 2007 polls, is running under the banner of the Party for Truth and Development (PVD).

As a notable figure of the Tidjaniya Brotherhood, Serigne Mansour Sy Djamil, leading a citizenship movement he called Bes Du Nakk, is entertaining the hope of securing at least 25 seats in the next Assembly.

The former ruling Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) which led the country from 2000 to March 2012, has suffered a split after Pape Diop, the outgoing speaker of the Senate, broke away from the party along with ex-ministers, MPs, senators, amongst others, to form the Bokk Gis Gis coalition.

By a contrast of fortunes, the Benno Bokk Yakaar coalition (Rally of the Forces for Change) that had declared support for current Senegalese head of state, Macky Sall, has remained united in the run-up to the polls.

Source African Press Agency

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