With less than a week before Senegal’s election, a spokesman for President Abdoulaye Wade said he has no doubt the president will win in the first round of the February 26th vote.
The capital, Dakar, was scene Sunday of more protests against Wade’s decision to seek a third term.
The opposition, led by the M-23 movement, says Wade is ineligible to seek another term because the constitution limits the president to only two terms.
Amadou Sall, spokesman for Wade’s re-election campaign, predicted the opposition will lose badly because Wade is a popular leader who has done a lot for Senegal.
“Everywhere that President Wade goes, he was received by a lot of people. President Wade is well-loved in this country. Right now, we are in the southeast of the country, in Tamba Counda, and Tamba Counda was crowded. Everyone in Tamba Counda was outside waiting for him, something very incredible,” he said.
Sall described the opposition as losers whose protests against Wade’s re-election bid are limited to Dakar and attended by fewer people.
“The demonstration of the opposition is only in Dakar and, even in Dakar, it is Independence Square and, in Independence Square, there is not a lot of people, at least 25-30 people. And, you know, you don’t win election staying in the same place,” Sall said.
He said the opposition candidates are losers who will be defeated by Wade in the first round of Sunday’s vote.
“I have no doubt that President Wade will win at the first round. We won’t have a second round because he is loved by the Senegalese people. He works a lot; everywhere you look, you see something realized by President Wade. That’s why he will be re-elected,” he said.
In reference to criticism that the 84-year-old Wade may be too old, Sall said old age is a blessing and not a handicap in Africa.
“Here, in Africa, old age is something positive, and you never see older people in the hospital and, in our country, it’s not a handicap. Besides, we are Muslim people, and only God knows what will happen tomorrow,” he said.
Sall said Wade is a strong man, despite his age, and is loved by his people.
He said, while the Senegalese constitution may guarantee the right of protest, the opposition does not have the right to block entrances to public facilities.
“Even though the constitution gives the right to make demonstration, they say that every day they will go to Independence Square to prepare the final passage to the House of State. This is not democracy,” Sall said.
Sall said the Senegalese people will have the final say between Wade and the opposition.
“We don’t know why they say they have the right to talk in the name of the people. In seven days, the Senegalese people will make their choice and, if their choice is to continue with [the] President, and they say they will stop with President Wade, they will stop with President Wade. But, this opposition they don’t have confidence in the Senegalese people because they are losers,” Sall said.