Senegalese Democratic Party
|Founded||31 July 1974|
|International affiliation||Liberal International
Africa Liberal Network
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The Senegalese Democratic Party (French: Parti Démocratique Sénégalais) is a political party in Senegal. The party considers itself a liberal party and is a member of the Liberal International. Abdoulaye Wade, who was President of Senegal from 2000 to 2012, is the party's leader. The PDS ruled together with smaller parties as part of the Sopi Coalition. Since Wade's defeat in the 2012 presidential election, the PDS has been the main opposition party.
At a summit of the Organization of African Unity in Mogadishu in 1974, Wade told President Léopold Sédar Senghor that he wanted to start a new party, and Senghor agreed to this. The PDS was founded on 31 July 1974 and recognized on 8 August. In its first constitutive congress, held on 31 January – 1 February 1976, the PDS described itself as a party of labor, but soon afterwards a law was introduced according to which three parties were allowed in Senegal: a socialist party, a Marxist–Leninist party, and a liberal party. The first two categories were already taken, and the PDS assumed the role of a liberal party rather than be dissolved.
The PDS participated, along with the ruling Socialist Party, in a national unity government that was formed in 1991, but withdrew from it on October 20, 1992, saying that the Socialist Party had monopolized control of the government and marginalized the PDS. Wade ran against the Socialist incumbent, Abdou Diouf, in the February 1993 presidential election, but lost to Diouf, receiving 32% of the vote against Diouf's 58%. In the subsequent May 1993 parliamentary election, the PDS won 27 out of 120 seats in the National Assembly. The PDS and the Socialist Party began discussing the formation of another government together, but this was aborted by the assassination of Constitutional Council vice-president Babacar Sèye on May 15; because the PDS had been critical of Sèye, they were suspected of responsibility for the killing. The PDS then joined the Bokk Sopi Senegaal opposition coalition, in which it remained until rejoining the government in March 1995.
Wade was elected President of Senegal in 2000, taking second place, with 31.01%, in the first round against incumbent President Abdou Diouf, but then winning in the second round, with 58.49%.
In the parliamentary election held on 29 April 2001, the Sopi Coalition, of which the PDS was the main component, won 49.59% of the popular vote and 89 out of 120 seats. In the parliamentary election held on 3 June 2007, which was boycotted by the main opposition parties, the Sopi Coalition won 131 out of 150 seats.
Between 2005 and 2012 the PDS was associated with the loose international party network Alliance of Democrats.
- Dominique Mataillet, "Senghor reconnaît le parti de Wade", Jeune Afrique, 6 August 2006 (French).
- Tidiane Dioh, "Sous l'étiquette libérale", Jeune Afrique, 21 October 2002 (French).
- Profiles of People in Power: The World's Government Leaders (2003), page 457.
- Profile of Wade at PDS web site (French).
- PDS page at Liberal International.
- Richard Vengroff and Lucy Creevey, "Senegal: The Evolution of a Quasi Democracy", in Political Reform in Francophone Africa (1997), ed. Clark and Gardinier, pages 207–209.
- 2001 parliamentary election, IPU PARLINE.
- "Le Conseil constitutionnel confirme définitivement la large victoire de la Coalition Sopi", Le Soleil, June 15, 2007 (French).