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Senegal's presidential election kicks off

DAKAR, Feb. 26 — Polling started in Senegal's presidential election Sunday morning with an expectation of millions of voters turning out during a 10-hour vote period.

More than 11,900 polls in about 6,192 polling stations are opened in the western African nation for voters from 8 a.m. to 6 p. m. local time (0800-1800 GMT) to cast their votes.

There are currently 5,080,294 registered voters in Senegal and 203,170 eligible oversea voters. The military and paramilitary voted on Feb. 18 and 19 due to their duty of maintenance of order on Feb. 26.

Senegal's Constitutional Council has accepted 14 candidates that are running for president this year, including President Abdoulaye Wade who is bidding for a third term.

Opposition parties have rejected the candidature of Wade, 85, dismissing it as unconstitutional given that he was elected first in 2000 and reelected in 2007. The Senegalese Constitution allows one to rule for only two terms. However, the Constitutional Council ruled that Wade's first term should not be considered because he was elected under the old Constitution.

According to the new Senegalese Constitution, the president to be elected will run the country for the next seven years. (PNA/Xinhua) scs/rsm

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