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Abdoulaye Wade


Abdoulaye Wade is the third and current President of Senegal. Wade assumed office in April of 2000. Wade ran for president four times before being elected in 2000. Wade was born in Kebemer, Senegal

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Created: 31st Mar 2008
Modified: 31st Mar 2008
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    Abdoulaye Wade is the third and current President of Senegal. Wade assumed office in April of 2000. Wade ran for president four times before being elected in 2000. Wade was born in Kebemer, Senegal. Officially Wade was born in 1926 although because the record keeping of that time is not very reliable, there is speculation that he was born a few years earlier. Wade studied and eventually taught Law at the Lycee Condorcet in France. Wade holds two doctorates in law and economics. At the University of Dakar in Senegal, Wade was Dean of the law and economics Faculty. Wade is married to Vivian Wade and has one daughter and one son.

    In early 1974 then president Leopold Sedar Senghor agreed to allow Wade start a new political party and in July 1974 the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) was formed. In 1976 the Senegalese Democratic Party adopted liberalism as a result of the introduction of a law allowing only three political parties with three distinct ideologies to exist. Wade is the current Secretary-General of the ruling Senegalese Democratic Party, and has led the party since it was founded in 1974.

    Wade first ran for President in February 1978 against Senghor and was unsuccessful taking less than 20% of the vote. In 1978 Wade did not become President, however, he was elected to the National Assembly, where he served until 1980. Wade later ran in the presidential elections of 1983 and 1988. In both the 1983 and 1988 election Wade came in second place behind Senghor's successor Abdou Diouf. After Wades unsuccessful 1988 election he was arrested for protesting the results of the election and received a suspended sentence. Following Wade's arrest he went to France, but returned to Senegal in 1990. In April 1991 wade and four other PDS members joined a National Unity Government along with the ruling Socialist Party. Wade soon became Minister of State without portfolio. In 1992 Wade and other Senegalese Democratic Party members quit the National Unity Government as a result of complaints concerning the way the Socialist Party was said to control the government.

    In the 1993 Presidential election wade was again unsuccessful against Diouf. Wade had taken second place for third time, with 32% of the vote and Diouf wining with 58%. In Mat 1993 Constitutional Council vice-president Babacar Seye was killed. Wade and other Senegalese Democratic Party leaders were charged with complicity in the murder, but they were not held in custody or put on trial. After riots February 1994, Wade was arrested along with many others for allegedly threatening state security. In 1994 the charge of complicity in Seye's murder was dismissed.

Wade and his co-defendants began a hunger strike on June 30, and on July 4th they were released. In addition any of the remaining charges were dismissed in late August. Wade rejoined the government as Minister of State in 1995 but by, March 1999 Wade and the other Senegalese Democratic Party members left again.

    Subsequent to his departure Wade spent a year in France and later returned to Senegal in October of 1999. Wade ran for President a fourth time in 2000 and won with 58.49% of the vote. In 2007 Wade ran for President and was elected. Wade was sworn in for his second term on April 3, 2007 at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium in Dakar, with about 60,000 spectators in attendance. Wade supports the quick formation of the United States of Africa. In 2007 at the African Union summit in Accra, Ghana Wade said “If we fail to unite, we will become weak, and if we live isolated in countries that are divided, we face the risk of collapsing in the face of stronger and united economies."

Biographical Information
Abdoulaye Wade
(At a Glance)
Place of Origin: Senegal

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