Monday, February 26, 2007

Post-Sunday Letdown

I can't believe it's over. The press coverage. The media punditry. The office pools. After weeks of frenzied speculation in the blogosphere, Sunday's presidential election in Senegal is now just a memory.

And although we know that Binta & The Great Idea (starring a little girl from Senegal) did not win for Best Live Action Short last night at the Oscars, the results of the Senegalese Presidential election still remains in doubt as millions of Americans anxiously await word from half a world away.

Will the winner be the octogenarian incumbent Abdoulaye Wade, a professor and free-trade advocate who opposed socialist rule in a surprise win seven years ago?

Or will be it be one of 14 other opposition candidates, including the popular Idrissa Seck, a former Wade ally?

Or how about Ousmane Tanor Dieng, a diplomat who represents, perhaps, the best hope for the Socialist Party?

But don't count out Moustapha Niasse, leader of the Alliance of Progress Forces. His former experience as a diplomat and prime minister could be just what Senegal needs right about now.

This is an important election for the 11 million souls of this west African nation. The country ranks 156 among the 177 countries listed in UN's 2006 human development index ranking. Can this fragile young democracy break the Top 125 under a new president?

In other news, did you see that Jack Nicholson shaved his head?


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