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Wade's succession

August 7, 2008

Question from Jez:

There are many rumours that the President’s son, Karim, is his likeliest successor. Is that really the case? What is he like?

Answer by Alex (Dakar expat):

Most local analysts seem to agree that the current President, Abdoulaye Wade (officially 82 years old, some claim he is in fact older than that), is working hard on having his son succede him. It used to be Idrissa Seck, a former Prime minister, and Wade’s “spiritual son”, who seemed to be the current Pres’ preferred option, but major issues between them, which led to Seck being fired and then emprisonned (officially on charges of corruption – he has now been freed), seem to have made Wade revert to his biological son.

Karim Wade has more of a business than a political background. He worked for UBS Warburg in London, and returned to Senegal after his dad’s election. He has a reputation for being closely implicated in local business affairs. He is also an official advisor to his father, and recently was the Chairman of the Board of the organization committee of the Islammic Summit 2008 held in Dakar (which is a big deal here, because the rich Muslim countries provided major funding to build roads and hotels in preparation of the summit). He has kind of become his father’s unofficial ambassador for rich Arab nations, and has for instance been seen heading delegations of Senegalese businessmen and officials to Dubai.

Some analysts are dubious about his ability to win a democratic election, given his businessman rather than politician style, and the Senegalese people’s reluctance to have a son succeed his father. The fact that his mother is French could also be an issue according to them. Others, on the contrary, think that for as long as he has the party in power behind him, and given how long the Socialist party in power for 40 years until 2000 needs to reconstruct itself, he will be easily elected.

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From → Politics

One Comment
  1. tricks permalink

    rumour has it that Pres. Wade is trying to have his son be president of the senate so that if he dies his son will automatically be the pres ad interim

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