Sall Sworn in As Senegal President

Posted April 2nd, 2012 at 8:20 am (UTC-5)
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The new president of Senegal, Macky Sall, has taken the oath of office, completing a smooth transition of power from long-time president Abdoulaye Wade.

Mr. Sall was sworn in before thousands of dignitaries in a tent decorated with the red, yellow and green colors of Senegal's flag.

Mr. Sall defeated former president Wade in a March 25 runoff election, winning about 65 percent of the vote.

Mr. Wade had angered many Senegalese with his decision seek a third term, despite a two-term limit in the constitution. Riots during the election campaign killed six people.

Mr. Wade's concession after losing the runoff reinforced Senegal's reputation as a stable democracy. Instability remains a problem in West Africa, where four of Senegal's neighbors have experienced coups or coup attempts in the past five years.

President Sall is 51-years old and previously served three years as prime minister under Mr. Wade.

After falling from favor, he broke with Mr. Wade's party in 2008 and served as mayor in his hometown of Fatick.

Mr. Wade won the first round of the presidential election in February. But the other opposition candidates endorsed Mr. Sall, who promised to lower basic food costs and reform the government.