Abdoulaye Wade's campaign has admitted he will face a run-off poll after failing to receive more than 50 percent in Senegal's presidential election. It's a humiliating blow to the president after 12 years in power.
Results from around half of the country's polling stations gave Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade around 32 percent, well short of the 50 percent necessary to avoid a run-off.
"The numbers are clear, we are headed to a second round," Wade campaign spokesman Amadou Sall said on Tuesday.
Wade's main challenger, his former prime minister, Mickey Sall, appeared to have received around 25 percent in voting on Sunday.
He has called on the other candidates to clear the field for the run-off so that his chances of beating Wade improve. Most had focused their campaigns on simply unseating Wade, regardless of who was to take his place.
Final election results are due to be announced on Friday.
'No excuse in Internet era'
Election observers from the EU said the poll had been well-run, despite violence leading up to it that killed at least six people.
But they criticized the officials' failure to release full results before Friday, saying that in the age of the Internet there was no reason for the delay.
"At this very hour, the provisional results are not yet known," said the head of a delegation of European parliamentarians, Cristian Dan Preda. "It's completely regrettable that this lack of information is fuelling tension and suspicion."
"In the Internet era it's inconceivable that the Senegalese will need to wait until Friday to know the official results," he added.
The partial results now available have been issued by media organizations and the president.
Wade, who is 85, was first elected in 2000. He has resisted calls from the US and France to step down and is now seeking a third term although the constitution limits presidents to two terms, a limit he himself introduced.
The run-off election is likely to be held on March 18.
ncy/rc (AFP, Reuters, AP)