The Moment (London)

Senegalese Leader, Wade, Registers for Presidential Race

Photo: IRIN
President Abdoulaye Wade.

SENEGAL's President Abdoulaye Wade has filed his candidacy in February polls with the Constitutional Council, which will rule on its validity on Friday, the prime minister has said.

'We are optimistic as to the (application's) admissibility. It meets all the requirements of the law,' said Prime Minister Souleymane Ndene Ndiaye, who is also Wade's campaign director, quoted by the Senegalese Press Agency (APS).

Wade was first elected in 2000 for a two-term mandate, and re-elected in 2007. But since the length of presidential terms was changed while he was in office he argues that he can run again for office.

Opposition and civil society fiercely disagree with his contention and tension around the poll has led to violent clashes in recent months.

Ndiaye said Wade and his supporters would accept the decision of the Constitutional Council, an authority made up of five judges, which has the final say on constitutional matters.

The United States deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs, William Fitzgerald said Monday that Wade's bid to stay in office was 'regrettable' and he should retire 'to protect and support a good democratic transition in Senegal in calm and security.'

Former colonial power France has refused to take a stand on his bid, saying it is for the Senegalese to decide.

Candidates have until today to present their candidacies.

Among the main contenders are three of Wade's former Prime Ministers, Moustapha Niasse, Idrissa Seck and Macky Sall.

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InFocus

Senegal: Riot Over Wade's Bid to Stay in Power

Rioters engaged in running battles with police in Dakar after the Constitutional Court ruled that President Abdoulaye Wade, 85, can seek a third term in office. Read more »