Senegal: Karim Wade, candidate in 2024 presidential election?

Karim Wade’s lawyers believe that Karim Wade has regained his rights and could now be a candidate in any election. This interpretation of the electoral code does not meet with unanimous approval, but it does make Abdoulaye Wade’s Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS), happy.

“The end of exile for Karim Wade?” The question is on the front page of the press in Senegal after the announcement of the collective of lawyers for the son of the former president. Karim Wade was sentenced in 2015 to six years in prison and a very heavy fine for illicit enrichment. Pardoned by President Macky Sall in 2016, he now lives in exile in Qatar. His candidacy for the 2019 presidential election had been rejected, but his lawyers consider that he has recovered his rights and could now be a candidate in any election. They are relying on Article 32 of the Electoral Code, which limits the ban on registration to five years.

The argument is rejected by some jurists, who point out that this measure applies only in certain cases, for short sentences. Karim Wade, moreover, remains under a heavy fine of 138 billion FCFA, or about €210 million. A Sword of Damocles.

Will Karim Wade return to Senegal in view of the next elections, notably the 2024 presidential elections? At the Senegalese Democratic Party, several officials say they are preparing for his return, but without further details on an agenda.

The strategy to rely on Karim Wade has caused turmoil within the party. Several high-ranking training officials left the ship last year. But the PDS remains on course.

Today, the PDS wants to regain ground in the political game. In fact, it resumed its activities this week. In Doha, Karim Wade remains silent.