A politician, lawyer and professor by profession, Abdoulaye Wade secured the chair of the President of Senegal for twelve years and has been serving as the Secretary-General of the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) since it was founded in 1974. Not the one to be disheartened by defeat, Wade contested in the presidential elections relentlessly even after four defeats, finally winning the same in 2000. With his election, Wade became the first non-PS president of Senegal since its independence in 1960. He resumed office yet again in 2007. A man committed to democracy, Wade received a lot of praise and applaud from the world over for peacefully stepping down from the chair of the President in 2012, post his defeat in the presidential elections. With this article, know more on the life and career of Abdoulaye Wade.
- Abdoulaye Wade was born in 1926 in Kébémer, Senegal.He studied at the Lycée Condorcet in France was excellent in academics. He earned doctorate degrees in law and economics. He also taught law at the Lycée Condorcet, before taking up the position of Dean of the law and economics faculty at the University of Dakar in Senegal.Career
- In 1974, Wade formed Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS). Initially intended as a labor party, it took up liberalism instead.Four years later, Wade contested for the presidential election but lost. However, he was elected to the National Assembly, where he served until 1980.Following this, Wade again contested for the election in 1983 and 1988 but each time finished on the second spot, with the rival socialist party, PS emerging as the winner. His protest against the 1988 result of election got him suspended for two years. He left for France but returned in the 1990.In 1991, Wade, along with four other PDS members, joined a national unity government together with the ruling Socialist Party, where he took up the position of Minister of State without portfolio. But soon he quit the government complaining about the manner in which PS controlled the government.Wade contested in the presidential election of February 1993. This time too he finished at the second spot, losing to PS by 16% votes.Wade rejoined the government as the Minister of State in 1995 but continued with the profile only until 1998. Though he was elected to the National Assembly in the February 1998 parliamentary election, he announced his resignation from the National Assembly in late July 1998, stating that there were enough deputies who could take up his position.After spending a year in France, Wade returned to Senegal in October 1999. Despite so many failures, he stood for the presidential elections of 2000. While he did not win the first round of the elections, the rival party too wasn’t the winner. As such, a second round of elections was held in which Wade emerged as a winner.Wade took up the chair of the President of Senegal on April 1, 2000.During his term, he promoted a new constitution according to which the term of the President was reduced from seven to five years. The change was effective from 2007.In 2007 presidential elections, PS lost to PDS and Wade took up the chair of the President yet again. However, unlike his first term, the second term of Wade wasn’t a very successful one, as there was lack of progress in dealing with infrastructure problems such as power shortage, and rise in the cost of living. Also, the constitutional amendments that he proposed brought about a lot of criticismWade’s commission of establishing an enormous statue at during Senegal’s 50th independence anniversary celebration in April 2010 drew a lot of criticism from people. Right from the statue’s semi-nude figures, to its huge cost of production to his claim of having for himself one-third of the revenue generated by the statue, everything was condemned.In 2012, Wade competed for the presidential position. Though he did win 35% of the votes in the first round, he did not reach the 50% mark and as such a second runoff election was held between him and former prime minister Macky Sall. The latter won by a whopping 66%, while Wade received only 34% votes.Admitting his defeat, Wade immediately stepped down from his position on April 2, 2012, an act that was lauded by one and all. Unlike other leaders who used the army to maintain their grasp of power, Wade peacefully retracted from his position. For this act of his, he has been considered among the rare African leaders who are committed to democracy.Awards & Achievements
- Abdoulaye Wade is the proud recipient of Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour by France.The state of Monaco honored Wade with the Grand Cross of the Order of Saint-CharlesPersonal Life & Legacy
- Abdoulaye Wade tied the nuptial knot with Viviane Wade. The couple was blessed with a son and a daughter, Karim Wade and Sindjely Wade.Former head of the national agency of the Islamic Organization Conference, Karim Wade has served as the Minister of State for International Cooperation, Urban and Regional Planning, Air Transport, and Infrastructure since May 2009, while his daughter is a Special Assistant to the President who has participated in many Paris-Dakar rallies.
ABDOULAYE WADE TIMELINE1926:
Abdoulaye Wade was born EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.1974:
Wade formed Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.1978:
Contested for the presidential election but lost; Was elected to the National Assembly, which he served until 1980. EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.1983:
Contested for the presidential election but lost. EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.1988:
Contested for the presidential election but lost. EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.1991:
Joined a national unity government together with the ruling Socialist Party; Took up the position of Minister of State without portfolio. EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.1993:
Contested in the presidential election but lost. EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.1995-1998:
Rejoined the government as the Minister of State EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.1998-1999:
Moved to France EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.1999:
Returned to Senegal. EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.2000:
Contested the presidential elections and won; Took up the chair of the President of Senegal on April 1, 2000. EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.2007:
Contested and won the presidential elections; Became the President again. EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.2012:
Competed for the presidential position but did not win. EDITSomething Wrong? Help Us Clean It Up. Tell Us About It.
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