Senegal's main opposition coalition claimed victory on Monday in local elections seen as a test of the leadership of veteran President Abdoulaye Wade.
It represents the first defeatof the ruling party in its nine years of power. The government conceded it had lost "several big cities" including the capital Dakar but said it had held on to "most local authorities". The vote wasthe last electoral test before presidential elections in 2012 and could hasten a shift in the political landcape. It could be the opportunity for the president's son and influential advisor Karim Wadeto enter the stage as a possible candidate to succeed his 82year old father.
The opposition coalition Benno Siggil Senegaal -- Wolof for "United to boost Senegal" -- said they had won in severalbig cities including Dakar, based on the party's tallies.
Wade's Sopi 2009 ruling coalition admitted that the opposition appeared to be headed for victory in Sunday's elections.
The opposition saidbefore the elections the polls were effectively a referendum on Wade's rule ahead of the 2012 presidential elections. Provisional results are expected to be released in the next few days.INTERNATIONAL
Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a stunning decision that honored the first-year U.S. president more for promise than achievement and drew both praise and skepticism aroundthe world.
Describing himself as surprised and deeply humbled, Obama said he would accept the award as a "call to action" to confront the global challenges of the 21st century.
"I do not view it asa recognition of my own accomplishments but rather an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations," he said in the White House Rose Garden.
The NorwegianNobel Committee praised Obama for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," citing his fledgling push for nuclear disarmament and his...