Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) - Ivorian newspapers on Monday hailed the ''fair play'' exhibited by outgoing Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, who admitted defeat by congratulating his opponent, Mr. Macky Sall, following Sunday's presidential runoff.
Writing under the headline "Wade leaves through the front door," the government daily "Fraternité Matin " said the outgoing president has saved Senegal's democracy, which had been threatened in the run-up to the election.
"The elegance with which Wade conceded defeat and the promptness with which he congratulated his former Prime Minister (...) are proof that the post-election crises are not inevitable in Africa and the chaotic paths are far from being irreversible,'' the paper reported.
On its part, ''La Patriote'' said “with the new and peaceful change in power, Senegal has once again given a great lesson in democracy to Africa and the world."
"It's a credit to Senegal's democracy that has, with this peaceful change in power, made a giant step with fair play shown by Abdoulaye Wade. By conceding defeat, the outgoing president leaves through the front door," Le Patriote said.
Also commenting on the election, the daily "Nord Sud" said the ''fair play'' shown by Wade is a lesson to Laurent Gbagbo, the former Ivorian President who refused to accept the outcome of his country's election until he was forced out of office.
"Between the good example set by his predecessor Abdou Diouf and refusing to step down, Wade chose the former, that of greatness. The true patriot who prefers to humbly accept his defeat instead of leading his country into a bloodbath out of pride,'' Nord-Sud wrote.
"By recognizing Sunday night's victory of Macky Sall, Senegal's outgoing president has given a lesson in wisdom to Gbagbo and his followers," the daily wrote.
-0- PANA BAL/JSG/JEN/SEG 26Mar2012