Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Weiner strikes again

Read more

THE DEBATE

Colombia's Path to Peace: Can historic deal with FARC rebels work? (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Colombia's Path to Peace: Can historic deal with FARC rebels work? (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

The rise of political tourism in the Middle East

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Video Music Awards, Rock en Seine and Puppa Lek Sen

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The Gulf of Porto, a paradise of land and sea

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Quarterback takes a stand by sitting down

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The hidden secrets of Les Invalides

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Anger over restaurant's decision to deny service to Muslim women

Read more

Africa

Wade opponents form united front

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-02-05

Senegal's fractious opposition has agreed to pool together in an effort to force President Abdoulaye Wade to withdraw from next month’s presidential election, claiming his bid for a third term in office violates the country's constitution.

REUTERS - Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade's main rivals pledged on Saturday to campaign together in an effort to force him to withdraw from an election next month.

The group did not give details on how they would try to prevent Wade from running for a third term in the Feb. 26 vote. But the pledge, a day before campaigning officially opened, underscored rising tensions in a country that has long been an island of stability in West Africa.

Wade's candidacy was approved last week by the country's top legal body, but it has sparked riots on the streets and drawn criticism from foreign donors, especially the United States, which said the bid posed a risk to Senegal's stability.

"We will take part in the election campaign in order to step up the fight ... to force the withdrawal of the candidacy of Abdoulaye Wade," read a document that was signed by eight of Wade's main rivals.

The group includes music star Youssou N'Dour, whose bid was blocked by the same legal body that signed off on Wade's application; two former prime ministers, Macky Sall and Idrissa Seck; and veteran opposition leaders Moustapha Niasse and Ousmane Tanor Dieng.

Unified front

Wade's rivals have so far struggled to forge a unified front against him. Having himself led street protests before coming to power in 2000, Wade has openly mocked the opposition for failing to mobilise a serious challenge and dismissed foreign criticism.

But his rivals sought to put their divisions behind them.

"We will channel all our efforts to one single, united and targeted campaign: to force Abdoulaye Wade to withdraw his candidacy and to hold an election without him," they said in the statement.

Wade's rivals say his bid for a third term breaches rules setting a two-term limit, but the president argues that his first term should not be counted as limits were added in 2001, after he had already begun his time in power.

At least four people have been killed in street clashes over Wade's candidacy. World leaders have called on all sides to show restraint, warning that the West African nation's democratic credentials were at stake.

Opposition leaders, who have come together with civil society organisations under the M-23 banner, have called for a demonstration in Dakar on Sunday.

Violent street protests last June forced Wade to backtrack on proposed changes to the election law that were widely seen as aiding his re-election, but demonstrations against his candidacy so far have failed to gather the same momentum.
 

Date created : 2012-02-05

  • SENEGAL

    Opposition vow to keep fighting Wade

    Read more

  • SENEGAL

    Youths clash with police in fresh anti-Wade protests

    Read more

  • SENEGAL

    Police fire tear gas on anti-Wade protests

    Read more

COMMENT(S)