France's Juppé urges Wade to pass on power
France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Alain Juppé spoke out about Senegal, ahead of the country’s tense presidential elections. He said that another win by current president Abdoulaye Wade could cause problems for the country.
In an interview with Jeune Afrique to appear on Monday, Juppé avoided mention of Wade’s age, but said that the country would benefit from leadership by a new generation.
Juppé said that the real issue was the fact that Wade has exercised power for an excessive amount of time.
The foreign minister also said that Wade’s changes to an official mandate to extend term lengths to seven, instead of six, years was not an effective method, nor one that would be readily accepted by the general population.
President Wade, 85, has already served two terms, for a total of 12 years. He has been at the centre of protests in Senegal, which have left six people dead, ahead of Sunday’s elections.
Tensions over the country’s high unemployment rate and power cuts heightened after Wade announced his plans to run again.
Wade says he needs more time to finish ongoing projects, although some say he is lining up his son Karim Wade for his succession.
Wade will have to contend with 13 presidential hopefuls on Sunday, including three former prime ministers.
Also on Saturday, Africa’s top envoy proposed a roadmap that would call for Wade to retire in two years, if he wins a controversial third term.
The deal, proposed by Nigeria's ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, also calls for the creation of a new constitutional court and an independent electoral commission.