Abdoulaye Wade


Abdoulaye Wade

Infobox President
name = Abdoulaye Wade



caption =
order = President of Senegal
primeminister = Mamadou Lamine Loum
Moustapha Niasse
Mame Madior Boye
Idrissa Seck
Macky Sall
Cheikh Hadjibou Soumaré
vicepresident =
term_start = 01 April 2000
term_end =
predecessor = Abdou Diouf
successor =
birth_date = birth date and age|1926|05|29|df=y
birth_place = Kébémer, Senegal
party = PDS
religion = Sunni Muslim (Maliki-Ash'ari, Mouride)
spouse = Viviane Wade [ [http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/12/images/20041206-4_bushwadep43859-043-515h.html Laura Bush hosts Viviane Wade] The White House, 6 December 2004]

Abdoulaye Wade (born May 29, 1926 [http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/World-Leaders-2003/Senegal-PERSONAL-BACKGROUND.html World Leaders 2003: Senegal: Personal Background] , Encyclopedia of the Nations.] ) is the third and current President of Senegal, in office since 2000. He is also the Secretary-General of the ruling Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) and has led the party since it was founded in 1974."Profiles of People in Power: The World's Government Leaders" (2003), page 457.] [http://www.sopionline.com/sg.htm Profile of Wade] at PDS web site fr icon.] He ran for president four times, beginning in 1978, before he was elected in 2000.

Life before politics

Wade was born in Kébémer, Senegal; officially, he was born in 1926, although some claim he was born several years earlier, and the record-keeping of the time is not considered particularly reliable. [Naomi Schwarz, [http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2006-10/2006-10-16-voa41.cfm?CFID=152656602&CFTOKEN=24796162 "Senegal's President Seeks Re-Election Amid Worsening Problems"] , VOA News, October 16, 2006.] He studied and taught law at the lycée Condorcet in France. He holds two doctorates in law and economics. He was also dean of the law and economics faculty at the University of Dakar in Senegal. He's currently married to Viviane and has one son, Karim, who is the head of the national agency of Islamic Organization Conference, and a daughter, Sindjely, who participated in many Paris-Dakar rallies. It is considered probable that Wade had other children and that Karim and Sindjely are the legitimate ones. (cf. Souleymane Jules Diop, Wade:The lawyer and the Devil)

Political career

At a summit of the Organization of African Unity in Mogadishu in 1974, Wade told President Léopold Sédar Senghor that he wanted to start a new party, and Senghor agreed to this. The PDS was founded on 31 July 1974.Dominique Mataillet, [http://www.jeuneafrique.com/jeune_afrique/article_jeune_afrique.asp?art_cle=LIN06086senghedawed0 "Senghor reconnaît le parti de Wade"] , Jeuneafrique.com, 6 August 2006 fr icon.] Tidiane Dioh, [http://www.jeuneafrique.com/jeune_afrique/article_jeune_afrique.asp?art_cle=LIN21102souslelarbi0 "Sous l'étiquette libérale"] , Jeuneafrique.com, 21 October 2002 fr icon.] The party adopted liberalism in 1976 due to the introduction of a law permitting the existence of only three parties with three distinct ideologies, two of which were taken by other parties. Wade first ran for president in February 1978 against Senghor, taking 17.38% of the vote. [http://africanelections.tripod.com/sn.html Elections in Senegal] , African Elections Database.] Also in 1978, Wade was elected to the National Assembly, where he served until 1980. Subsequently he ran in the presidential elections of 1983 and 1988, taking second place each time, behind Senghor's successor Abdou Diouf. Following the 1988 election, he was arrested due to protests against the results and received a suspended sentence. Subsequently he went to France, but returned in 1990.

In April 1991, Wade and four other PDS members joined a national unity government along with the ruling Socialist Party (PS); Wade became Minister of State without portfolio.Richard Vengroff and Lucy Creevey, "Senegal: The Evolution of a Quasi Democracy", in "Political Reform in Francophone Africa" (1997), ed. Clark and Gardinier, pages 207–208.] [http://democratie.francophonie.org/IMG/pdf/RAPPORT_DES_MISSIONS_D_OBSERVATIONS_DES_ELECTIONS_PRESIDENTIELLES_27_FEVRIER_2000_-_1ER_TOUR_DU_SCRUTIN_19_MARS_2000_-_2E_TOUR_DU_SCRUTIN.pdf "Rapport des Missions d'Observations des Elections Presidentielles", 2000 election] fr icon.] In October 1992, he and the other PDS ministers quit the government due to complaints about the manner in which the PS was said to control the government. In the February 1993 presidential election, Wade again took second place, with 32% of the vote, behind Diouf, who won with 58%. Following the May 1993 killing of Constitutional Council vice-president Babacar Sèye, Wade, along with other PDS leaders, faced police questioning. [http://www.unhcr.org/home/RSDCOI/3ae6aa5420.html Senegal Human Rights Practices, 1993] , U.S. Department of State.] On October 1, Wade, his wife, and two PDS members of the National Assembly (Abdoulaye Faye and Ousmane Ngom), were charged with complicity in the murder, although they were not held in custody or put on trial. Following riots in February 1994, Wade was arrested along with many others for allegedly threatening state security. The charge of complicity in Sèye's murder was dismissed in May 1994, and Wade and his co-defendants began a hunger strike on June 30. He and his co-defendants were released on July 4, and the remaining charges were dismissed on August 30, 1994. [ [http://www.unhcr.org/home/RSDCOI/3ae6aa48c.html Senegal Human Rights Practices, 1994] , U.S. Department of State.] Wade rejoined the government as Minister of State in March 1995, but he and the other PDS ministers left again in March 1998.

2000 election and first term

Wade subsequently spent a year in France, returning to Senegal on October 27, 1999. ["Senegal: Opposition leader Wade returns to Dakar", AFP (nl.newsbank.com), October 28, 1999.] ["Senegal: Opposition leader Wade to meet colleagues on election plan", Radio France Internationale (nl.newsbank.com), October 28, 1999.] In the first round of the 2000 presidential election, held on February 27, he again took second place, receiving 31% of the vote, but for the first time, Diouf did not win a first round majority, and consequently a second round was held on March 19. Wade won this round with 58.49% of the vote, [http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=86&art_id=qw954684661377B252 "Senegal's Wade names prime minister"] , Reuters, April 2, 2000.] having received the support of candidates from the first round, including third place candidate Moustapha Niasse. Wade became President on April 1, 2000 and appointed Niasse as his Prime Minister shortly afterwards. Wade initially cohabited with the PS, which held a majority in the legislature until the PDS and its allies (the Sopi Coalition) won a majority in the April 2001 parliamentary election.

A [http://www.gouv.sn/textes/constitution.html new constitution] was adopted in 2001, reducing presidential terms to five years following the completion of Wade's seven-year term in 2007. [ [http://www.liberal-international.org/newsletter.asp?ia_id=1284 "Senegal elections set for 25 February 2007"] , Liberal International, Issue 35.]

2007 election and second term

On October 15, 2006, Wade was nominated as presidential candidate of the PDS for the February 2007 presidential election. [ [http://www.apanews.net/spip.php?page=show_article_eng&id_article=12903 "Wade nominated for February 2007 presidential elections"] , African Press Agency, October 16, 2006.] One of Wade's opponents in this election was his former prime minister Idrissa Seck, who was once considered Wade's protégé, but was arrested in 2005. [ [http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=52637&SelectRegion=West_Africa "President’s onetime protégé to run for election"] , IRIN, April 5, 2006.] Final results released on March 11, 2007, showed Wade winning in the first round with 55.9% of the vote, far ahead of his nearest opponents, Seck with about 15% and Socialist Party leader Ousmane Tanor Dieng with about 13.6%. Dieng and another opposition candidate, Abdoulaye Bathily, filed appeals regarding the election, but these were rejected by the Constitutional Council. [http://www.seneweb.com/news/elections2007/article.php?artid=9107 "Le texte intégral de la décision du Conseil constitutionnel"] , Agence de Presse Sénégalaise (Seneweb.com), March 11, 2007 fr icon.] Wade was sworn in for his second term on April 3 at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium in Dakar, with many African leaders and about 60,000 spectators in attendance. [ [http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/04/03/africa/AF-GEN-Senegal-Wade.php "Senegal's president is inaugurated, as dictators, statesmen look on"] , Associated Press ("International Herald Tribune"), April 3, 2007.] [ [http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=68&art_id=nw20070403220820450C686021 "Wade sworn in for second term"] , AFP ("IOL"), April 3, 2007.]

The main opposition parties did not accept Wade's 2007 victory and disputed his legitimacy as President; they boycotted elections to the National Assembly and the re-established Senate later in the year. Wade conclusively stated in an interview published by "Le Soleil" on May 19, 2008 that there was no longer any possibility of dialogue with the opposition unless it recognized him as the legitimate President. "Let them do what they want, it doesn't bother me," he said of the opposition, "so long as they respect law and order." [ [http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=68&art_id=nw20080519133043811C906132 "Wade: For me, it's over!"] , Sapa-AFP ("IOL"), May 20, 2008.]

At the July 2007 African Union summit in Accra, Ghana, Wade supported quick formation of the proposed United States of Africa and said: "If we fail to unite, we will become weak, and if we live isolated in countries that are divided, we face the risk of collapsing in the face of stronger and united economies." [Mamadou Ndiaye, [http://apanews.net/apa.php?page=show_article_eng&id_article=36592 "Wade criticises gradual approach to set up AU Government"] , African Press Agency, July 3, 2007.]

Criticism

Critics contend that the Wade's presidency has been marred by corruption, nepotism and constraints on freedom of the press and other civil liberties. [ [http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2007-03/2007-03-02-voa34.cfm?CFID=314962917&CFTOKEN=41256770 "Analysts ponder Senegalese President's Legacy"] , Voice of America, March 2, 2007.] [Daniel Flynn, [http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSL1387942620071213, "Reggae star Fakoly tells Senegal's Wade 'leave power'"] , Reuters, December 13, 2007.] He has also been criticized for excessive spending on what have been described as "prestige projects". [ [http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=86&art_id=nw20080809143651570C530476 "Senegal sacks minister for overspending"] , Reuters ("IOL"), August 9, 2008.]

References

Persondata
NAME=Wade, Abdoulaye
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=
SHORT DESCRIPTION=3rd President of Senegal
DATE OF BIRTH=May 29, 1926
PLACE OF BIRTH=Kébémer, Senegal
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=


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