News / Africa

Senegalese Debate Whether President Too Old For Third Term

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade speaks to journalists at the end  of the 15th African Union Summit in Kampala, 27 Jul 2010
Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade speaks to journalists at the end of the 15th African Union Summit in Kampala, 27 Jul 2010

Multimedia

Audio
  • Professor Mamadou Diouf, director of African Studies at New York’s Columbia University spoke with Clottey

TEXT SIZE - +
Peter Clottey

The director of African Studies at New York’s Columbia University has expressed shock that Senegal’s 84-year-old President, Abdoulaye Wade, is considering running for a third term in the West African country’s 2012 general elections.

Mamadou Diouf said it is impossible to understand that a man over 80 will insist on running as an incumbent seeking a second, seven-year term.

“The first version of the constitution was saying that the president should be elected for two, five-year terms. But, two or three years later, the constitution was amended and the amendment actually created the confusion people are fighting about now,” he said.

Senegal's 84- year old President, Abdoulaye Wade
Senegal's 84- year old President, Abdoulaye Wade

Mr. Wade’s opponents have questioned the rationale behind his decision and have described it as a constitutional coup d’état aimed at ensuring the president’s son is groomed to succeed him.

President Wade has denied he is grooming his son, Karim Wade, to succeed him, despite saying that his son is qualified to run as a presidential candidate in future elections.

President Wade was quoted as saying, “I have no intention of putting my son in my place before I go. But, he is a citizen of Senegal and he is free to stand in elections when he wants to.”

Professor Diouf said there are indications the Senegalese leader is grooming his son to succeed him in the near future.

“The political problem is that it seems he [President Wade] is running in order to restructure again the whole political system among the constitution to allow his son to succeed him,” Diouf said.

President Wade named his 41-year-old son as a minister in the government in May and is believed to be a close and influential adviser to the president.

Some Senegalese constitutional lawyers contend that President Wade’s second term expires in 2012 and is thus, constitutionally, barred from running again.

But, supporters of the Senegalese leader insist Mr. Wade is entitled to seek another term despite his controversial stance.

Diouf said that Mr. Wade will be too old in 2012 to either exercise the functions of a sitting president or completely finish his term of office.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid