Senegal – Wade threatens early elections

In Senegal, the fallout from President Wade’s aborted constitutional reform is continuing. Today, on the anniversary of the events last month, both pro- and anti-Wade supporters are gathering in rival shows of strength.

Meanwhile, the future ambitions of the president himself are coming into focus. Immediately following the withdrawal of the controversial constitutional amendment, there were rumours, sparked by President Wade’s own comments, that he had decided not to stand for re-election next year. However, he has since appeared on television and declared both that he wants to be a candidate again and that he is willing to hold the election early, indeed within 40-60 days. Presumably, this would mean that he would have to resign, thus provoking an election automatically.

In fairness to Wade, he is still confronting his opponents head-on. He also has the advantage that support for his opponents is fragmented. However, the regime remains very contested and it would not surprise me if there was a real test of democracy in the next few months.

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