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Senegal's President Says He'll Run in 2012

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade says he intends to run for re-election in 2012.

President Wade told VOA's French to Africa service that he intends to stand for a third term in the country's next election.

President Wade says he will be a candidate in 2012, God willing, if God gives him a long life.

The 83-year-old's ruling party did poorly in this year's local government election, losing control of both the municipal council in the capital Dakar and in Senegal's second city St. Louis.

President Wade's election nine years ago ended four decades of post-independence rule by the Senegalese Socialist Party. He was re-elected in 2007 with more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round.

Many political observers believed the ruling party would nominate the president's son Karim as its 2012 candidate. Karim Wade has organized a group of younger Senegalese activists known as the concrete generation. But he lost his first political race for a seat on Dakar's municipal council and has since been named by his father to serve as a government minister.

While suggesting that he would like to see his son succeed him by telling VOA that any parent would like to see his son become president, Mr. Wade says, for now, he intends to seek another term in office.

President Wade says he has the right to be president in an election that he says will be open and without cheating.

President Wade gave the interview in Washington where he signed a $540 million contract with the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation to reduce poverty.