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Senegal ex-president calls for cancellation of Feb. 24 polls


On Tuesday, Senegal’s former president Abdoulaye Wade called for the cancellation of presidential elections slated for February 24. He also called for peaceful protest against the polls.

According to Wade, 92, the process was rigidly tilted in favour of the incumbent Macky Sall who he accuses of using state apparatus to block the participation of strong opponents.

He particularly bemoaned the Constitutional Court’s rejection of presidential candidacies submitted by Khalifa Sall, a former mayor of Dakar with no relation to President Sall, and his son Karim Wade.

The Senegalese Democratic Party, PDS, the political movement Wade founded, is preparing a programme of action by 23 February along with other political parties.

The former president who is expected in Senegal on Thursday, is asking Macky Sall to set up a national commission for democratic transition.

Wade believes that by seeking re-election alone, Macky Sall had created “serious dangers of destabilizing Senegal.” Sall beat Wade in vote runoff in 2012 to secure his first of two possible seven-year mandates.

The man Abdoulaye Wade

Abdoulaye Wade, the third president of democratic Senegal came into office in March 2000 after beating the then incumbent Abdou Diouf. His victory came after 30 years in politics and 19 in the opposition.

The historic feat also meant that for the first time, a candidate of the Socialist Party, that had been in power for 40 years, had been defeated at the polls.

He was re-elected President of the Senegal on February 25, 2007 with 51.84% of the vote. In 2012 despite a controversial change of the laws to allow him seek a third term, Wade failed as an opposition coalition ousted him.

On March 25, 2012, he was defeated by Macky Sall, who became the fourth President of the Republic of Senegal with more than 65% of the vote in a runoff – Wade had won the first round.

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