Senegal's Wade suggests unity regime

2012-01-01 16:23

Dakar - Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade said on Sunday he would put together a unity government if elected for a controversial third term in February polls, which has raised tensions in one of Africa's stable states.

In an address to the nation broadcast on public television to mark the New Year, Wade said he envisaged a "government of national unity... overlooking party borders to put the best talent at the disposal of our country".

Clashes between the ruling party and opposition last week left one person dead and three injured, pointing to heightened tensions in one of Africa's most stable democracies in the run up to the February 26 poll.

Wade, 85, first elected president in 2000, wants to run again despite strong domestic opposition and concerns from some Western countries that his candidacy could threaten the country's stability.

Wade's first term lasted seven years, and he was reelected in 2007 for five years after a constitutional reform shortened presidential terms.

The seven-year stint was reintroduced in another constitutional amendment in 2008, prompting the opposition to argue that Wade's fresh bid was illegal and that he had exhausted the two-term limit.