Macky Sall, President of Senegal
Macky Sall was born on 11 December 1961. Under President Abdoulaye Wade, Sall was Prime Minister of Senegal from April 2004 to June 2007 and President of the National Assembly of Senegal from June 2007 to November 2008. He was the Mayor of Fatick from 2002 to 2008 and has held that post again since April 2009.
Sall was a long-time member of the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS). After coming into conflict with Wade, he was removed from his post as President of the National Assembly in November 2008; he consequently founded his own party and joined the opposition. Placing second in the first round of the 2012 presidential election, he won the backing of other opposition candidates and prevailed over Wade in the second round of voting, held on 25 March 2012.
Sall, a geological engineer by profession, was born in Fatick. He became Secretary-General of the PDS Regional Convention in Fatick in 1998 and served as the PDS National Secretary in charge of Mines and Industry. He was Special Advisor for Energy and Mines to President Abdoulaye Wade from 6 April 2000 to 12 May 2003, as well as Director-General of the Petroleum Company of Senegal (Société des Pétroles du Sénégal, PETROSEN) from 13 December 2000 to 5 July 2001. He became Minister of Mines, Energy and Hydraulics on 12 May 2001, and he was promoted to the rank of Minister of State, while retaining his portfolio, on 6 November 2002. He additionally became the Mayor of Fatick on 1 June 2002.
On 27 August 2003, Sall was moved from his position as Minister of State for Mines, Energy and Hydraulics to that of Minister of State for the Interior and Local Communities, while also becoming Government Spokesman. He was then appointed as Prime Minister by President Wade on 21 April 2004, when his predecessor, Idrissa Seck, was dismissed. On 25 April 2004, Seck became Vice-President of the PDS Steering Committee.
Sall served as the director of Wade’s re-election campaign for the February 2007 presidential election, in which Wade was victorious, obtaining a majority in the first round. After Wade was sworn in, Sall submitted his resignation on 10 April and was immediately reappointed, with the government unchanged.
In the June 2007 parliamentary election, Sall was elected to the National Assembly as a candidate on the national list of the Sopi Coalition. After the election, Wade appointed Minister Delegate for the Budget Cheikh Hadjibou Soumaré as Prime Minister on 19 June, replacing Sall, who had resigned along with his government shortly beforehand. Sall said that he was proud of what he had accomplished as Prime Minister.
Sall was elected as President of the National Assembly one day later, on 20 June 2007; he was the only candidate and received 143 votes from the 146 deputies present. Sall and Wade came into conflict later in 2007 when Sall called Wade’s son Karim, the President of the National Agency of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), for a hearing in the National Assembly regarding construction sites in Dakar for the OIC Summit planned to take place there in March 2008. This was perceived as an attempt by Sall to weaken Karim’s position and possibly influence the eventual presidential succession in favor of himself, provoking the enmity of Wade and his loyalists within the PDS. In November 2007, the PDS Steering Committee abolished Sall’s position of Deputy Secretary-General, which had been the second most powerful position in the party, and it decided to submit a bill to the National Assembly that would reduce the term of the President of the National Assembly from five years to one year. Following the death of Mourides religious leader Serigne Saliou Mbacké in late December 2007, his successor, Serigne Mouhamadou Lamine Bara Mbacké, asked Wade to forgive Sall; Wade then met with Sall and the two were said to have made peace in early January 2008.
Sall nevertheless remained at odds with the PDS leadership in 2008. In September 2008, a PDS deputy presented the bill to reduce the term of the President of the National Assembly to one year, and later in the month, Sall was called before the PDS Disciplinary Committee, although he did not appear. On this occasion, Sall was accused of divisive personal initiatives within the party; he also allegedly committed “acts aimed at undermining the image of the party and country”, referring in particular to Sall’s visits to the Senate of France and the United States Democratic Party’s 2008 Convention. A statement released by Sall’s political adviser condemned the move to discipline Sall as an “attempt at political liquidation”.
On 13 October 2008, the National Assembly voted to reduce the term of the President of the National Assembly to one year; this was approved by President Wade on 21 October. Despite Sall’s determined efforts to maintain his position, the National Assembly voted to dismiss him as President of the National Assembly on 9 November 2008. There were 111 votes in favor of his removal and 22 against it. Sall promptly announced that he was resigning from the PDS; this decision meant that he would lose his seat in the National Assembly, as well as his seat on Fatick’s municipal council and his post as Mayor of Fatick. He also said that he would create a new party. Mamadou Seck was elected to replace Sall as President of the National Assembly on 16 November 2008.
Sall founded his own party, the Alliance for the Republic–Yaakaar, in early December 2008. The Interior Ministry accused Sall of money laundering on 26 January 2009; Sall denied this and said that the accusation was politically motivated. In late February 2009 it was decided not to prosecute Sall due to lack of evidence.
Following the March 2009 local election in Fatick, Sall was re-elected to his former post as Mayor in April 2009. He received 44 votes from the 45 municipal councillors present; the Sopi Coalition’s five councillors were not present for the vote.
Abdoulaye Wade, Former President of Senegal
Abdoulaye Wade (born May 29, 1926) is the third and current President of Senegal, in office since 2000. He is also the leader of the Senegalese Democratic Party, a liberal party that is a member of the Liberal International. He led the opposition for decades and was at times exiled and imprisoned at Besançon prison for his political activities.
Life before politics
Wade was born in Kébémer, Senegal. He studied and taught law at the lycée Condorcet in France. He holds two doctorates in law and economics. He was also dean of the law and economics faculty at the University of Dakar in Senegal.
Wade first ran for president in February 1978 against Senegal’s first president, Léopold Sédar Senghor, taking 17.38% and losing to Senghor. Subsequently he ran in the presidential elections of 1983, 1988, and 1993, taking second place each time, behind Senghor’s successor Abdou Diouf. In February 2000, he again received second place with 31%, but Diouf did not receive a majority and a second round was held on March 19. Wade won this round with 58.49% of the vote, having received the support of candidates from the first round, including third place candidate Moustapha Niasse. Wade became president on April 1, 2000 and appointed Niasse as his prime minister shortly afterwards. Wade was forced to cohabit with the former ruling party (the Socialists), which held a majority in the legislature until the Democratic Party’s victory in the 2001 parliamentary elections.
A new constitution (in French) was written in 2001, under the terms of which future presidents of Senegal will be limited to 5-year terms after the completion of Wade’s 7-year term in 2007. Wade announced in April 2006 that the following elections would be held on February 25, 2007.
Wade was nominated as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party in October 2006. One of Wade’s opponents in this election was his former prime minister Idrissa Seck, who was once considered Wade’s protégé, but was arrested in 2005. Final results released on March 11, 2007, showed Wade winning in the first round with 55.9% of the vote, far ahead of his nearest opponents, Seck with about 15% and Socialist Party leader Ousmane Tanor Dieng with about 13.6%. Dieng and another opposition candidate, Abdoulaye Bathily, filed appeals regarding the election, but these were rejected by the Constitutional Council. Wade was sworn in for his second term on April 3 at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium in Dakar, with many African leaders and about 60,000 spectators in attendance.