Freedom House welcomes Abdoulaye Wade’s announcement that he will concede the presidency in Senegal after losing a run-off election to his competitor, Macky Sall. The reportedly free and fair elections should serve as an important example to neighboring countries in a region where electoral turnovers are often fraught with violence.
As Senegal prepares for a pivotal presidential election on February 26, some citizens and outside observers are weighing the possibility of a popular uprising akin to last year’s Arab Spring revolts, with large numbers of Senegalese taking to the streets in defense of their political rights. Another, even more troubling scenario would entail a violent postelection standoff between the entrenched incumbent and forces loyal to his would-be successor, as occurred a year ago in Côte d’Ivoire. The fact that such outcomes are even being discussed illustrates how far Senegal has fallen under the stewardship of President Abdoulaye Wade, who is seeking a third term in office.
former Senior Director for Program Strategy, Development and Learning
February 3, 2012
The progress that sub-Saharan Africa has achieved in building democracy over the past generation is coming undone. After two decades of significant gains, the continent has experienced a steady decline in democracy over the last several years.
A majority of Americans see democracy in the U.S. as weak and getting weaker, according to a national survey released by The Democracy Project, a joint initiative of Freedom House, the George W. Bush Institute, and the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.
Freedom House released an analysis of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa showing that the region has experienced notable increases in freedom over the past generation, although more setbacks than gains were seen in 2006.
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