years old, Wade is thought to be at least 90 years old by most people in Senegal.After another third term, he would thus be at least 97 years of age, a record even foran African village chief. Many also fear that Wade’s secret’s ploy is to seize power in2012, but not finish his term –midway creating a vice-presidency position andappointing his son, Karim Wade, to the position, thus succeeding to impose his planof a monarchic devolution of power that the Senegalese electorate rejected duringthe 2009 legislative elections and again on June 23, 2011.Led by the “Y’en A Marre” group and the M23, a popular citizen movement composed of all opposition parties, civil society groups and ordinary citizens,created to keep alive the spirit of the 23 June uprising, the protesters took thestreets every 23
day of the month between June and December 2011.Wade showed no signed of retreat from his resolution to run for a third presidentialbid however. Changing the administrative partitioning of the country to downsizethe districts where his party, the PDS, did not have a lead (for more click here),ransacking public coffers to fund his campaign, publicly announcing his retraction of his previous public statement where he announced that he would not run again in2012, Wade appeared determined as ever to extend his stay in power for a thirdterm. A series of political intimidations perpetrated against opposition politicalfigureheads by heavy muscled youth also set the country in a tense mode of violence, escalating into the death of a PDS envoy and imprisonment of Wade’sfiercest youth opponent, Barthelemy Diaz, head of the Socialist Party’s Youth League(seelink ).As a bitter constitutional debate took hold over the country, with the majority of Senegalese constitutionalists who took part in the writing of the 2001 Constitutionstating that Wade’s third bid was unconstitutional, while a minority, affiliated withWade’s camp, maintained that Wade was exempt from the immediate application of the 2001 Constitution’s provisions, having been elected one year prior to itsadoption, the final word on the constitutional validity or not of Wade’s thirdpresidential bid was left to Senegal’s Constitutional Court. Composed of the “fiveWise”, judges appointed by the president and copiously treated in the dayspreceding their decision with gifts of a limousine each and 5million CFA bonusesfrom the President, serious doubts were cast regarding the impartiality of theCourt’s decision.
Decision of Constitutional Court allows Wade to run for a third term
On January 27 2012, 29 days prior to Election day, the Senegalese ConstitutionalCourt’s “Five Wise” published the final list of validated candidates for the 2012presidential election. This list included Abdoulaye Wade, and excluded the notoriouspopular singer Youssou N’Dour who had announced his bid for the presidential seat at the 11
hour in a contested context.