Senegalese presidential election, 2007

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A presidential election was held in Senegal on 25 February 2007. The incumbent president, Abdoulaye Wade, who was first elected in 2000, won the election in the first round with almost 56% of the vote.[1][2]

Date of the election[edit]

Wade announced the date for the election on 13 April 2006.[3] The election campaign officially began on 4 February 2007.[4] Soldiers voted early on 17 February and 18 February; this was the first time in the country's history that soldiers were allowed to vote.[5]

Had a run-off been necessary, it would have been held on 18 March 2007.[6] A parliamentary election was initially intended to be held on 25 February as well, but it was delayed to 3 June 2007.[7]

Candidates[edit]

15 candidates ran for President, including Wade.[4] Wade was nominated as the presidential candidate of his party, the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS), on October 15, 2006.[8] Idrissa Seck, a former Prime Minister who was once considered Wade's protégé, also ran. Seck announced his candidacy for President in April 2006; he had been arrested in 2005 on charges of embezzlement and threatening state security but never faced a trial and was eventually released in February 2006.[9][10] On January 22, 2007, Wade said that Seck had agreed to return to the ruling PDS;[11] Seck subsequently confirmed this, but said that he would remain a presidential candidate. If he had withdrawn his candidacy, the law would have required that the election be delayed,[12] but shortly afterwards the National Assembly voted to change the law so that a delay would not be necessary in the event of a candidate's withdrawal.[13]

Ousmane Tanor Dieng ran as the candidate of the former ruling Socialist Party (PS).[14] Former Prime Minister Moustapha Niasse ran as the candidate of a coalition of opposition parties, including his own Alliance of the Forces of Progress (AFP).[15] Other candidates included Abdoulaye Bathily of the Democratic League/Movement for the Labour Party (LD/MPT),[16] Landing Savané, a Minister of State and the Secretary-General of And-Jëf/African Party for Democracy and Socialism (AJ/PADS),[17] Ziguinchor Mayor Robert Sagna,[18] and former ambassador Modou Dia.[19]

Issues[edit]

Wade faced criticism over a variety of issues, including unemployment and the continuing Casamance conflict, as well as alleged corruption and the delays of the parliamentary election. Major construction projects undertaken by Wade split opinion in the country. Wade's campaign called for the people to give him a majority of the vote in the first round, but it was widely expected that a second round would be necessary, and Wade's opponents denied the possibility that he could legitimately win a first-round majority. Many politicians who had backed Wade in 2000 had since turned against him, which could be viewed as making it improbable that Wade would do as well in 2007; on the other hand, it has been pointed out that Senegal's demographics, with a high proportion of young people in the electorate, could make it difficult to compare the two elections.[20]

Announcement of results[edit]

Shortly after the election was held, Prime Minister Macky Sall, who was also Wade's campaign manager, said that Wade had won the election in the first round with about 57% of the vote, based on initial results.[21] According to results announced on March 1, Wade won about 1.9 million votes, about 55.9% of the total. Seck was in second place with 14.9% of the vote and Tanor Dieng was in third place with 13.6%. Voter turnout was said to be 70.5%.[1] Wade won the most votes in 32 out of 34 of the country's departments, including a majority in 28 of them. Seck won the department of Thiès and Niasse won the department of Nioro.[22]

Abdoulaye Bathily's campaign rejected the results and alleged that there were flaws in the voting, saying that a person could be registered more than once, and that the ink used in voting, which was supposed to be indelible, could be washed off.[1] Ousmane Tanor Dieng's spokesperson also rejected the results,[23] and on March 5 Dieng filed a Constitutional Court appeal regarding alleged lack of transparency and irregularities.[24]

Final results from the Constitutional Council on March 11 gave Wade 55.90%, Seck 14.92%, and Dieng 13.56%. The Council rejected appeals from Dieng and Bathily.[2] Wade was sworn in on April 3 at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium in Dakar, with many African leaders and about 60,000 spectators in attendance.[25][26]

Final results[edit]

e • d Summary of the 25 February 2007 Senegalese presidential election results
Candidate Party Coalition Votes %
Abdoulaye Wade Senegalese Democratic Party Sopi 2007 1,914,403 55.90
Idrissa Seck Rewmi Party And Liggey Sénégal 510,922 14.92
Ousmane Tanor Dieng Socialist Party of Senegal 464,287 13.56
Moustapha Niasse Alliance of Progress Forces Alternance 2007 203,129 5.93
Robert Sagna Takku Defaraat Sénégal 88,446 2.58
Abdoulaye Bathily Democratic League/Movement for the Labour Party Jubbanti Sénégal 75,797 2.21
Landing Savané And-Jëf/African Party for Democracy and Socialism 70,780 2.07
Talla Sylla Alliance for Progress and Justice/Jëf-Jël 18,022 0.53
Cheikh Bamba Dièye Front for Socialism and Democracy/Benno Jubël 17,233 0.50
Mamadou Lamine Diallo Tekki Taaru Sénégal 16,570 0.48
Mama Adama Guèye Sellal 13,700 0.40
Doudou Ndoye Union for Progress and Renewal 9,918 0.29
Alioune Mbaye Independent 9,016 0.26
Louis Jacques Senghor Movement for the Liberation of the Senegalese People 8,212 0.24
Modou Dia Independent 4,491 0.13
Total[2] (turnout: 70.5[1]) 3,424,926 100.0

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Diadie Ba, "Senegal's Wade re-elected, warns opposition", Reuters (Mail & Guardian Online), 2 March 2007.
  2. ^ a b c "Le texte intégral de la décision du Conseil constitutionnel", Agence de Presse Sénégalaise (Seneweb.com), March 11, 2007 (French).
  3. ^ "Senegal elections set for 25 February 2007", Liberal International, Issue 35.
  4. ^ a b "La 1ère journée de campagne électorale peu animée au Sénégal", African Press Agency, February 4, 2007 (French).
  5. ^ "Military and paramilitary voting ends in Senegal", African Press Agency, 18 February 2007.
  6. ^ "Senegalese to vote for president in Sunday polls", DPA, 22 February 2007.
  7. ^ "Senegal hopes for elections in June", AFP (IOL), 19 January 2007.
  8. ^ "Wade nominated for February 2007 presidential elections", African Press Agency, October 16, 2006.
  9. ^ "President’s onetime protégé to run for election", IRIN, April 5, 2006.
  10. ^ "Seck will challenge Wade in Senegal election", Reuters (IOL), April 5, 2006.
  11. ^ "Wade makes peace with former prime minister", Reuters (IOL), January 23, 2007.
  12. ^ "Former Senegalese Premier returns to ruling party, but insists on presidency", African Press Agency, February 1, 2007.
  13. ^ "Senegalese MPs remove electoral article from constitution", African Press Agency, February 8, 2007.
  14. ^ "Ousmane Tanor Dieng teste pour la première fois sa représentativité électorale", African Press Agency, February 4, 2007 (French).
  15. ^ "Senegalese opposition leader heads new coalition", African Press Agency, December 22, 2006.
  16. ^ "Abdoulaye Bathily, un ancien allié de Wade à l’assaut du pouvoir", African Press Agency, February 5, 2007 (French).
  17. ^ "Un allié de Me Wade candidat à la présidentielle de février 2007", African Press Agency, November 13, 2006 (French).
  18. ^ "Robert Sagna running for presidency in Senegal", African Press Agency, February 6, 2007.
  19. ^ "L’ancien ambassadeur Modou Dia veut faire décoller le Sénégal à l’horizon 2017", African Press Agency, February 4, 2007 (French).
  20. ^ "Senegal surprises itself at the ballot box", Angus Reid Global Monitor, March 5, 2007.
  21. ^ "Wade’s side claims victory in first round of Senegalese presidential poll", African Press Agency, February 26, 2007.
  22. ^ "Abdoulaye Wade passe au premier tour avec 55,07 %, selon des chiffres provisoires", Agence de Presse Sénégalaise (Seneweb.com), March 1, 2007 (French).
  23. ^ "Dieng challenges election results in Senegal", Reuters (IOL), February 28, 2007.
  24. ^ "Loser claims fraud in Senegal polls", Al Jazeera, March 5, 2007.
  25. ^ "Senegal's president is inaugurated, as dictators, statesmen look on", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), April 3, 2007.
  26. ^ "Wade sworn in for second term", AFP (IOL), April 3, 2007.