A 25% threshold to elect a president? Wade backs down

In the face of protests, Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade has backed down over a proposal to change the method of presidential elections.

Instead of a majority-runoff system, Wade wanted to change to allowing 25% to suffice for a first round victory. As the Euronews story comments:

His rivals saw this as a ploy virtually guaranteeing his re-election next February, as the opposition is currently fragmented.

I guess so!

The adjusting of presidential victory thresholds reminds me of the Sandinista ploy in Nicaragua in 2006. The lowering of the threshold there was far less drastic that Wade’s gambit, and paid off–just barely–for Daniel Ortega’s return to the presidency.

Does the old man (he’s 85) in Senegal think he can’t win even 40%? Or 35%? Or 30%?…

Senegal has been generally classed as a democracy for the 11 years that Wade has been president.

One thought on “A 25% threshold to elect a president? Wade backs down

  1. Its interesting to note that one of the major democratic advances in Senegal (while Wade was still the leading opponent of the de facto one party state) was the provision that a candidate could not be declared elected President without reaching at least 25% of all regisered voters-so even if he won a majority of actual votes cast thete would be a second round anyway. This prevented the incumbent party from splitting the opposition and using captive votes like civil servants and the following of local religious notables to eke out a low turnout victory.

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