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  • Documents on Democracy


In a March 25 presidential runoff, Macky Sall of the Alliance for the Republic decisively defeated incumbent president Abdoulaye Wade of the Senegalese Democratic Party. Wade had been approved to run for reelection by the Constitutional Court, despite having already served the constitutional maximum of two terms. Having lost the election, however, he accepted the result and stepped down. Below are excerpts from his concession speech:

My dear compatriots: At the end of the second round of balloting in the 2012 presidential election, current results indicate that Macky Sall has come away with the victory.

As I have always promised to do, I phoned him on this evening of March 25 in order to congratulate him.

You have been numerous, my dear compatriots, in turning out to vote freely, in calm and serenity, in conformity with our traditional ancestral values and under the supervision of national and international observers.

On April 3, Macky Sall gave his first speech after his inauguration the previous day. Excerpts appear below:

We are coming out of a long and historic electoral process that has revealed once more to the world all the vitality of our democratic system and the great maturity of the Senegalese people.

And let there be no mistake: It is all of the Senegalese people who have emerged victorious and reinvigorated.

I express my gratitude to the friendly nations who sustained us in this process and to all the observers, foreign and domestic, who served as vigilant witnesses to the proper conduct of the balloting.

After the historic step of 25 March 2012, we are now on the path of [End Page 183] our common destiny, strong in the shared conviction that the Senegalese nation is one and indivisible. . . .

I am determined to give the best of myself, along with my team, in order to merit your trust and to faithfully fulfill my duty as guardian of the Constitution as well as guarantor of territorial integrity, national cohesion, and the orderly functioning of our republican institutions. . . .

My dear compatriots, to the government I give the mission of translating into action the strong hope for change that was so massively expressed on March 25.

This historic occasion constitutes for all of us a new departure into a new era that breaks on a profound level with the old ways in which the state was run both institutionally and in terms of economic policy.

That is why I insist, together with all the men and women who join me in carrying out this deed of trust that ties me to the people, that we all alike know and accept that this mission does not create a class of privileged citizens who are above others and above the law.

On the contrary, this responsibility rests upon something that is clearly sacred: This is a question not of being served, but of serving.

Already, as you know, I have decided to reduce my term from seven to five years to be more in keeping with the actual Constitution.

I hold with equal force to the constitutional arrangement that limits the president to a five-year term that may only be renewed once. This provision must be locked in, with no possibility of modification. . . .

To govern otherwise would be to give room to special rights, favoritism, and influence-peddling when the true course is to banish all these things and to put the public interest above any other consideration, and to treat all citizens with the same dignity and the same respect. . . .

Likewise, our administration must create an environment that is more welcoming—made up of respect, courtesy, and transparency—in order to deliver quality services for the benefit of users.

There will be no place for arrogance, authoritarianism, bribe-taking, or seeking of privileges and undue advantages.

My dear compatriots, as far as economic policy is concerned, I will be always guided by a concern for transparency and a sense of responsibility for the virtuous direction of public affairs. I am placing in my own charge the obligation to take stock of the national treasury and to enlighten the public about the current state of affairs.

I expect to restore to...