Senegal's ex-president Wade not retiring from politics

AFP , Monday 18 Jun 2012

Senegal's former president Abdoulaye Wade, head of the Senegalese Democratic Party, criticizes probes against him as he reveals his determination to resume work in politics

Senegal
Senegal's former president Abdoulaye Wade speaks during an impromptu election campaign rally in the capital Dakar, February 7 2012, (Photo: Reuters).

Senegal's ex-president Abdoulaye Wade, 86, who lost a controversial re-election bid in March, will not be retiring from politics, he said in an interview published on Monday.

"There is no political retirement for me. As long as I am on earth and able to have ideas I will express them," Wade told the private L'As newspaper.

Since his election defeat by Macky Sall, which was preceded by deadly riots over his efforts to seek a third term in office, Wade has been criticised for seeking out media attention instead of retreating gracefully from the public eye.

However Wade remains at the head of the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) which will face legislative elections on July 1.

He has heavily criticised a probe into ill-gotten gains which has seen members of his former government questioned and dozens of his vehicles seized.

This has led to a media storm over Wade's assets with the former leader disputing the scores of properties said to belong to him.

In an interview last week he said a law on ill-gotten gains, which he said both he and his predecessor Abdou Diouf had ignored, was "dangerous".

"You don't summon a minister like he is a vulgar individual and ask him whatever about his management," Wade told L'Obs newspaper.

The riots which broke out before the presidential election in March came as protesters were banned by Wade's government from demonstrating in certain places, notably Independence Square and near the presidential palace downtown, and clashed with riot police.

About six people were reported killed in the near-daily clashes.

In last week's interview Wade threatened Sall's government that if he does not get his cars back "we will march on the palace, occupy Independence Square" and that preventing him from doing so is "an offence".

However Wade says he is willing to undergo an audit into his assets and those of his family. His regime was plagued by financial scandals and both his children Karim and Sindjiely have been accused of squandering public money.

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