In her response to President Trump’s State of the Union, Stacey Abrams went through some of the top issues for the Democratic Party. Health care. Climate change. Gun safety. Then she brought up a topic Democrats are planning to spend a lot of time on over next two years: voting. “Let’s be clear. Voter suppression is real,” Abrams said. “From making it harder to register and staying on the rolls, to moving and closing polling places, to rejecting lawful ballots, we can no longer ignore these threats to democracy.” The past two federal elections seem to have been a tipping point.
Senegal’s new President Macky Sall has won a huge majority in legislative elections, official results show. His Benno Bokk Yakaar (United in Hope) coalition won 119 of the 150 seats. The Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) of former President Abdoulaye Wade gained only 12 seats, while a breakaway PDS faction won four seats. After 12 years in power, Mr Wade was defeated by Mr Sall in March’s tense elections which saw at least six people killed in anti-Wade protests.
A coalition backing new Senegalese President Macky Sall was poised to win majority seats in parliament, according to provisional results reported by local media on Sunday after legislative elections in the west African country. Early counts reported by Senegal’s APS news agency showed that Sall’s Alliance for the Republic party (APR) and the Benno Bokk Yakaar coalition were leading in several constituencies across the country. Results on APS’s website showed that the leading coalition had won the vote in several major districts including Thies, Kaolack, St. Louis and the capital Dakar. Complete provisional results are expected by Tuesday.
Senegal’s President Macky Sall is seeking to win a parliamentary majority in a July 1 election to push ahead with plans to combat corruption and cut government spending. Sall, 51, leads the Benno Bokk Yakaar coalition that’s running for the National Assembly’s 150 seats. The main challengers are the Parti Democratique Senegalaise, headed by ex-President Abdoulaye Wade, and the Bokk Gis Gis coalition led by the current head of the parliament’s upper house, Pape Diop. The president needs control of parliament to help implement changes, such as audits of government departments, that he’s made since defeating 86-year-old Wade in a March presidential election, said Abdou Fall, a Senegal analyst at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, South Africa.
Campaigning begins in Senegal on Sunday ahead of next month’s legislative polls, with the former ruling party crying foul over corruption probes launched against key members after the election of President Macky Sall. Twenty-four lists of parties and party coalitions are contesting the July 1 elections, in which voters will pick 150 lawmakers for a five-year mandate. The polls mark the first popularity test for Sall, who won the March 25 presidential election run-off against Abdoulaye Wade, ending his 12 years in power. Sall’s presidential coalition is favourite to win the legislative polls. But the former ruling Democratic Party of Senegal (PDS) has accused the new administration of harassing its members in the run-up to the elections.
Voting Blogs: African Elections in 2012 on the World Stage and in the Classroom | Concurring Opinions
Teaching U.S. election law in the shadow of a presidential election is an election law professor’s dream. There is no better backdrop for the material or more engaging context to capture student interest in the subject. However, as I also teach a comparative election law course that examines election law issues internationally, I had a difficult time deciding which to offer this fall in light of the seemingly record number of presidential and legislative elections this year. On no other continent is this cloudburst of elections more evident than in Africa. The concentration of African elections is owing not just to Africa having more countries and democracies than any other continent; rather, the combination of the Arab spring and the happenstance of calendrical synchronicity has yielded a mother lode of elections on the continent. Africa is evidence that, against many odds, democracy is at work. In the United States, democracy works in large part because of deeply entrenched historical values and a multiplicity of modern interests that depend on democratic institutions. Indeed, in much of the Western world, democracy enjoys a worn expectation as a successful form of governance. In modern Africa, however, democracy increasingly prevails because the lion’s share of its inhabitants is moving steadfastly and stubbornly against authoritarianism and the one-party state in hopes for a fairer, freer, and more equal form of government. Simply put, democracy in Africa grows from the same soil of revolution and idealism that nourished the seeds of U.S. democracy nearly three centuries ago. For those of us interested in the study of democracy, Africa is a place to watch in 2012.
Senegal’s new president won the runoff election in a landslide, garnering nearly twice as many votes as the incumbent of 12 years, according to provisional results released Tuesday. Senegalese officials announced that Macky Sall had won 65.80 percent of ballots cast in Sunday’s runoff ballot, benefiting from a united opposition in the second round of voting. Incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade won 34.20 percent of the vote — slightly less than his percentage in the first round last month. It marked a sharp drop-off from the last presidential race in 2007, when he easily won the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff. “It’s a landslide victory for President Macky Sall,” said Mbaye Ndiaye, who represents the opposition coalition that supported Sall in the runoff.
The moment that crystallized this nation’s reputation as one of Africa’s established democracies was in the morning after the presidential election 12 years ago. In the neoclassical presidential palace, Senegalese President Abdou Diouf stayed awake all night, counting and recounting the results that showed in no uncertain terms that he had lost. Mr. Diouf could have rigged the election from the start, as his neighbor to the north in Mauritania had the habit of doing. He could have stacked the court in charge of validating the election with supporters, the strategy his neighbor to the south in Ivory Coast would put to good use one day. He could have deployed the army to keep his grasp on power like in nearby Guinea, Gambia and Guinea-Bissau – all of which share a border with Senegal, a nation of 12.4 million on Africa’s western edge. Instead, the 64-year-old president emerged from his office, told his aides to draft a statement conceding defeat and picked up the phone to congratulate the man who had beaten him, Abdoulaye Wade.
Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade accused the foreign powers that lined up against his bid for a third term of being dupes on Sunday after casting his ballot in the West African state’s most contentious poll in its recent history. The 85-year-old leader, whose bid to extend his rule triggered deadly street riots in the normally peaceful country ahead of a February first round, was urged by the United States and France not to run. He is expected to face a tough challenge from rival Macky Sall, a former ally and prime minister who has won the support of Senegal’s myriad opposition parties since taking second place in the February vote.
Senegalese superstar Youssou Ndour, who has lent his golden voice to politics, hit the campaign trail a week before run-off polls to rally support for presidential challenger Macky Sall. Ndour, along with all 12 presidential candidates who fell out of the country’s electoral race in a first round of voting, are campaigning hard for Sall, to block a controversial third term bid by 85-year-old incumbent Abdoulaye Wade. The Grammy-award winning artist has been at the forefront of this campaign since his own attempt to run for office was thwarted by the constitutional court which said he did not have enough signatures supporting his candidacy.
Police fired teargas as thousands of people protest in one of Dakar’s central squares, Place de L’Obelisque. They are calling for President Abdoulaye Wade’s to drop his plan to run for a third term as president of Senegal on February 26. The demonstrators – most of them young – are voicing their opposition to the Friday decision of the Constitutional Court to allow the incumbent president to stand for a third term. Police responded as dark fell and youths began throwing stones. Police also are firing cannons of hot water on the crowd. All the leaders of the opposition are attending the rally, as well as invalidated candidate Youssou N’Dour, who made a speech to the passionate crowd encouraging peace – and telling the crowd that Senegal is “our nation” and that they should not spoil it.
There are multiple levels to politics in Senegal, one of the oldest — and until recently, most successful — African democracies. There are the power plays and massive government projects reported on by the international media, but also a parallel system of religious affiliations, cultural networks, and tribal ties, little seen by outsiders. To understand the headlines, you need to delve into the latter. The big news this week is that Abdoulaye Wade, Senegal’s geriatric president, is breathing a sigh of relief. The constitution says he can only run for two consecutive terms, but on Friday the constitutional court of this West African country ruled that this did not apply to him. It also decided that Youssou N’Dour, the global pop superstar and the country’s greatest export, who had thrown his hat into the ring, was not eligible to run. Violent protests have flared, in Dakar and elsewhere, in response to the decision and at least three people have been reported dead. Once regarded as one of the most progressive and democratic of African countries, Senegal’s stability is under threat with opposition leaders calling for “popular resistance.”
Senegal’s highest court ruled just after midnight on Monday that the West African country’s aging leader was eligible to run for a third term in next month’s election, rejecting appeals filed by the opposition and eliminating the last legal avenue for challenging President Abdoulaye Wade’s candidacy. The court also rejected the appeal of music icon Youssou Ndour, stating that his candidacy was invalidated because he did not file enough valid signatures. The opposition has called on the country’s increasingly disenfranchised population to rise up against Wade, and protests are expected this week. When the constitutional court issued its initial ruling Friday and approved Wade’s third-term bid, angry youths clashed with security forces, stoning a police officer to death.
Senegal anxiously awaits a ruling Friday on whether President Abdoulaye Wade can seek a third term in office, with fears of violence rising as the opposition threatens to defy a protest ban. Amnesty International warns in a new report that the nation is at a crossroads ahead of a tumultuous election period and the potential for violence high as the 85-year-old leader bids for a third shot as leader. Some 20 presidential candidates, including Grammy-award winning singer Youssou Ndour, will have submitted their candidacies to the Constitutional Council for the February 26 presidential election by Thursday night.
Although N’Dour has only an outside chance of winning, the answer is yes he does – for at least two reasons. As N’Dour himself points out, his entry into the Feb. 26 race will guarantee a degree of international media exposure that the election otherwise would not have had. That may in turn mean there will be closer scrutiny of the kind of irregularities in voting procedures that have been a feature of recent African elections. Put simply, it will be harder for anyone to rig the poll.
Presidential politics in Senegal is in full swing now that President Abdoulaye Wade’s party made official his controversial bid for a third term in the February elections. The announcement has re-ignited a six-month-old opposition movement.
President Wade’s Senegalese Democratic Party [PDS] chose a controversial date to announce a controversial decision. The party confirmed that the president is its candidate for the February 26 election at a rally on Friday, which is the six-month anniversary of one of his biggest political defeats. It was on June 23 – in the face of protests and riots – that Wade was forced to withdraw a proposed constitutional referendum to make it easier for him to win the upcoming election in the first round.
Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade backed down on a proposed change to the country’s electoral law on Thursday after the bill sparked running clashes between riot police and protesters in the capital.
Wade’s rivals said the proposed change would have guaranteed his re-election against a fragmented opposition in a February poll and had threatened a popular uprising over it in a country long seen as an island of stability in West Africa. Analysts said the reversal showed how effectively the opposition and civil society groups could mobilise anti-Wade sentiment amid simmering social tensions.
Senegal’s ruling party plans to change the constitution to lower the percentage of votes a candidate needs to win an election and to create the office of vice president, the government spokesman said Tuesday.
The changes are being introduced just eight months ahead of the 2012 national election, prompting opposition leaders to deride the proposal as a “constitutional coup.” They said the amendment would favor incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade and his unpopular son.