News / Africa

    Senegal Protests Disrupt Plans for Vice Presidency

    Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade (R) adjusts a ribbon on his son's jacket, Karim Wade (C), during a ceremony to mark the arrival of two Senegal airlines airbus on January 19, 2011 in Dakar
    Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade (R) adjusts a ribbon on his son's jacket, Karim Wade (C), during a ceremony to mark the arrival of two Senegal airlines airbus on January 19, 2011 in Dakar

    Violent protests and opposition from his own party this week forced Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade to give up changes that would have made it easier for him to win re-election.  The reversal also disrupts Wade's plans for a vice presidency, which could have benefitted his son.

    Objections to creating a vice president for Senegal focus chiefly on concerns, both within the ruling party and within the opposition, that President Wade would use that post to put his son, Karim, in place to succeed him.

    Karim Wade is already a powerful member of his father's Cabinet. As minister of state for international cooperation, regional development, and infrastructure, he controls more than one-quarter of Senegal's federal budget, including the energy portfolio.

    The French-educated banker suffered an electoral loss to Dakar's city council in 2009 when his father's opponents won control of the municipal council in a vote that shook up the ruling party. Despite that electoral defeat, President Wade has justified his son's pre-eminent role in his cabinet on the grounds of what he calls “exceptional competence.”

    But there is a generation of leaders within the ruling party between the ages of the 85-year-old president and his 42-year-old son who have been waiting for their chance at power.

    At present, the ruling party controls that choice with the president of the Senate first in the line of succession. If that position went to an appointed vice president without legislative confirmation, the choice would be entirely President Wade's.

    Ruling-party parliamentarian Ndiogou Wack Ly believes the change would have been too confusing.

    Ly says it is his opinion that either the post of the prime minister disappears or the post of the vice president disappears. He says Senegal can not have a messy regime with two people at the head.

    Businessman Moustapha Dieng says Africa is no longer a place where leaders anoint their own successors.

    'What is happening is a shame for Wade," he said. "It is a shame for West Africa. And it is a shame for all of the leaders sitting here who are trying to make their son or their friends or their lobby in the country. This can not continue.”

    The prospect of Karim Wade succeeding his father through the vice presidency was a rallying point for this week's demonstrations in Dakar, with many people holding signs saying:  “Senegal is not a dynasty.”

    Dieng says Senegalese watched closely the political crisis in Ivory Coast where the incumbent president used the constitutional council to block the rightful winner.

    "If you know this region, we have in other countries a lot of problems in kinds of democracies where those leaders come democratically in ruling the country and then try to bring down those constitutions that bring them up. And this is what we can not accept,” he said.

    Senegal's ruling party says the changes were meant to “reinforce democracy” but President Wade listened to the Senegalese people, development partners, and religious leaders in agreeing to keep the constitution as it is through elections planned for February.



    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.