Reuters

DAKAR (Reuters) - Senegal President Macky Sall's ruling coalition was set on Monday to retain a commanding majority in parliament after a weekend election, a presidential aide said, but the opposition claimed the results were tainted by fraud.

 

Sall came to power in 2012 by defeating longtime incumbent Abdoulaye Wade in a vote that reaffirmed Sengal's status as one of West Africa's most stable democracies.

 

"We have won 42 districts of the 45 in the country," Mahmoud Saleh, a political adviser to Sall, told Reuters. "This gives us a comfortable majority in parliament."

 

Sall's coalition won 43 of 45 districts in 2012. The new parliament will have 165 seats, 105 through direct suffrage while 60 will be apportioned from party lists.

 

Sunday's vote was marred, however, by delays in issuing biometric identity cards that prevented hundreds of voters from casting their ballots, part of what opposition leaders said was an intensifying clampdown on political opposition.

 

Political demonstrations are routinely halted by a heavy police presence and the mayor of the capital Dakar, one of Sall's main competitors, was jailed in March for embezzling public funds, charges Sall's opponents say are politically motivated.

"What happened yesterday was not incompetence but sabotage to commit fraud," said opposition leader Amadou Sall. A government spokesman denied the charges of fraud and accused the opposition of being a "sore loser".

Senegal is the only nation on mainland West Africa not to have seen a coup or civil war since independence and its political stability has helped it attract major investments in infrastructure and its emerging oil sector.

(Reporting By Diadie Ba; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Richard Balmforth)