Senegal Braces for Court Ruling on President’s Re-election Bid

Posted January 27th, 2012 at 6:35 am (UTC-5)
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Opposition forces in Senegal are preparing to demonstrate if the country's highest court rules that President Abdoulaye Wade can seek a third term.

The Constitutional Court is facing a midnight Friday deadline to announce its list of approved candidates for next month's presidential elections. The 85-year-old Wade is seeking re-election despite a constitutional amendment that limits presidents to just two terms.

Mr. Wade was first elected president in 2000, and re-elected in 2007. He argues the amendment does not apply to him since it was not in effect when he first assumed office.

Among the potential candidates awaiting final approval from the court is Senegalese pop star Youssou N'Dour.

N'Dour told VOA earlier this week that many of his countrymen believe Mr. Wade's re-election bid is unconstitutional.

Anti-government riots paralyzed the capital, Dakar, in June, after the ruling party moved to create the post of vice president and lower the percentage of votes needed to win the presidential election.

The president's opponents said the moves were aimed at making it easier for Mr. Wade to be re-elected, and for his son, Karim Wade, to succeed him. The proposals were later dropped.