PM to lead Wade bid for 3rd term

2010-10-29 15:28

Dakar - Senegal's veteran President Abdoulaye Wade has chosen Prime Minister Souleymane Ndene Ndiaye to lead his campaign for a third term in office in 2012 elections, his office said on Friday.

"The president told cabinet he would make Souleymane Ndene Ndiaye his campaign director," said a source in the presidency, adding that "naturally" the prime minister had accepted.

Ndiaye is the sixth prime minister to serve under Wade since 2000.

A lawyer by training, Ndiaye is known for his outspokenness and has been quoted in the local press as saying he would never work under "that kid" Karim Wade, the president's son.

Opposition parties accuse Wade of grooming his son, recently appointed as energy minister, to "inherit" the presidency.

The 84-year-old president was elected for a seven-year term in 2000, ending 40 years of socialist rule in Senegal, a west African nation lauded for its long-running stable democracy in a troubled region.

Wade's re-election in 2007 was for a five-year term after a constitutional change limited presidential mandates.

Defending his controversial announcement in September last year that he would seek another term in 2012, the ruling Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) maintains the constitutional change means Wade has served only one term.

Despite saying after his 2007 election the change did not allow him to seek a new mandate, Wade recently declared: "Only imbeciles don't change their minds."