Senegalese Democratic Party

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Senegalese Democratic Party
Parti Démocratique Sénégalais
Leader Abdoulaye Wade
Founded 31 July 1974
Headquarters Dakar, Senegal
Ideology Liberalism
Political position Centre
International affiliation Liberal International
Africa Liberal Network
Colours Blue
National Assembly
19 / 150

The Senegalese Democratic Party (French: Parti Démocratique Sénégalais) is a political party in Senegal. The party considers itself a liberal party and is a member of the Liberal International. Abdoulaye Wade, who was President of Senegal from 2000 to 2012, is the party's leader. The PDS ruled together with smaller parties as part of the Sopi Coalition. Since Wade's defeat in the 2012 presidential election, the PDS has been the main opposition party.


At a summit of the Organization of African Unity in Mogadishu in 1974, Wade told President Léopold Sédar Senghor that he wanted to start a new party, and Senghor agreed to this. The PDS was founded on 31 July 1974 and recognized on 8 August.[1][2] In its first constitutive congress, held on 31 January – 1 February 1976, the PDS described itself as a party of labor, but soon afterwards a law was introduced according to which three parties were allowed in Senegal: a socialist party, a Marxist–Leninist party, and a liberal party. The first two categories were already taken, and the PDS assumed the role of a liberal party rather than be dissolved.[2]

Abdoulaye Wade is the Secretary General of the PDS and has led the party since its foundation in 1974.[3][4] The PDS joined the Liberal International at the latter's Berlin Congress in 1980.[5]

The PDS participated, along with the ruling Socialist Party, in a national unity government that was formed in 1991, but withdrew from it on October 20, 1992, saying that the Socialist Party had monopolized control of the government and marginalized the PDS. Wade ran against the Socialist incumbent, Abdou Diouf, in the February 1993 presidential election, but lost to Diouf, receiving 32% of the vote against Diouf's 58%. In the subsequent May 1993 parliamentary election, the PDS won 27 out of 120 seats in the National Assembly. The PDS and the Socialist Party began discussing the formation of another government together, but this was aborted by the assassination of Constitutional Council vice-president Babacar Sèye on May 15; because the PDS had been critical of Sèye, they were suspected of responsibility for the killing. The PDS then joined the Bokk Sopi Senegaal opposition coalition, in which it remained until rejoining the government in March 1995.[6]

Between 2005 and 2012 the PDS was associated with the international party network Alliance of Democrats. Within Senegal, the party has been part of the Patriotic Front for the Defence of the Republic since 2014 with And-Jëf/African Party for Democracy and Socialism.[7]

Electoral performance[edit]


Wade ran in every presidential election from 1978 to 2012, finally becoming elected President of Senegal in 2000 against incumbent President Abdou Diouf.[8] Wade was reelected in the first round of the 2007 election, but went on to lose the 2012 election to incumbent President Macky Sall.[9]


Election Leader Votes Seats
# % # ±
1978 Abdoulaye Wade 172,948[10][11] 17.88
18 / 100
New party
1983 Abdoulaye Wade 150,785[10][11] 13.97
8 / 120
Decrease 10
1988 Abdoulaye Wade 275,552[10][11] 24.74
17 / 120
Increase 9
1993 Abdoulaye Wade 321,585[10][11] 30.21
27 / 120
Increase 10
1998 Abdoulaye Wade 233,287[12][11] 19.1
23 / 140
Decrease 4
2001 Abdoulaye Wade 931,617

(with Sopi Coalition)[13]

89 / 120
Increase 66
2007 Abdoulaye Wade 1,190,609

(with Sopi 2007)[14]

131 / 150
2012 Abdoulaye Wade 298,846[15][16] 15.23
12 / 150
Decrease 113
2017 Abdoulaye Wade 552,095

(with Manko Wattu Sénégal Coalition)[17]

19 / 165
Increase 7


  1. ^ Dominique Mataillet, "Senghor reconnaît le parti de Wade", Jeune Afrique, 6 August 2006 (in French).
  2. ^ a b Tidiane Dioh, "Sous l'étiquette libérale", Jeune Afrique, 21 October 2002 (in French).
  3. ^ Profiles of People in Power: The World's Government Leaders (2003), page 457.
  4. ^ Profile of Wade at PDS web site (in French).
  5. ^ PDS page Archived 2007-09-26 at the Wayback Machine. at Liberal International.
  6. ^ Richard Vengroff and Lucy Creevey, "Senegal: The Evolution of a Quasi Democracy", in Political Reform in Francophone Africa (1997), ed. Clark and Gardinier, pages 207–209.
  7. ^ Political handbook of the world 2015. Lansford, Tom,. Los Angeles, California. ISBN 9781483371580. OCLC 912321323. 
  8. ^ Cornado, Estelle (2012-03-26). "Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade's rise and rule". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-06-07. 
  9. ^ "Senegal's Sall marks poll victory". BBC News. 2012-03-26. Retrieved 2018-06-07. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Elections in Senegal". Retrieved 2018-06-07. 
  11. ^ a b c d e Elections in Africa : a data handbook. Nohlen, Dieter., Krennerich, Michael., Thibaut, Bernhard. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1999. ISBN 0198296452. OCLC 41431601. 
  12. ^ "IFES Election Guide | Elections: Senegal Par May 24 1998". Retrieved 2018-06-07. 
  13. ^ "IFES Election Guide | Elections: Senegal Parl Apr 29 2001". Retrieved 2018-06-07. 
  14. ^ "IFES Election Guide | Elections: Senegal Par 3 Jun 2007". Retrieved 2018-06-07. 
  15. ^ "Elections in Senegal". Retrieved 2018-06-07. 
  16. ^ "Senegal landslide for president". BBC News. 2012-07-05. Retrieved 2018-06-07. 
  17. ^ "IFES Election Guide | Elections: National Assembly". Retrieved 2018-06-07. 

External links[edit]