Senegal 2012: Abdoulaye Wade Confirms Run

Incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade plans to run in Senegal’s 2012 elections. He argues that doing so does not violate the country’s 2001 constitution. At a Friday meeting of the managing committee of Wade’s Parti Democratique Socialiste,

Wade overrode objections from his former prime minister Idrissa Seck, saying that he had drawn up the 2001 constitution himself and his interpretation of it was the only one that counted.

Media reports said Seck, a long-time rival of Wade, hinted he would run himself for the presidency after a stormy six-hour meeting which saw calls for him to be thrown out of the party.

Opposition parties say the two successive terms Wade is allowed, one of seven years from 2000 and one of five, should end in 2012. His party says it should be calculated from 2007, when the first five-year term began following a constitutional change.

The Constitutional Council, which has to rule on the question, is headed by the recently-appointed Cheikh Tidiane Diakhate, who is seen as pro-Wade.

Seck could not defeat Wade in 2007. I do not follow Senegalese politics as closely as I did when I was there in 2006-2007, but my impression is that the opposition remains fragmented. I would rate Wade the early favorite to win in fifteen months.

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