Senegalese Democratic Party

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Senegalese Democratic Party
Parti démocratique sénégalais
Secretary-GeneralAbdoulaye Wade
Founded31 July 1974
HeadquartersDakar, Senegal
IdeologyEconomic liberalism [1]
Political positionCentre
International affiliationLiberal International
Africa Liberal Network
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.[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]

After running alone in the 2012 election, the PDS contested the following elections as part of opposition alliances, Manko Wattu Sénégal in 2017 and Wallu Sénégal in 2022. The party succeeded in gradually increasing its parliamentary representation, up to 24 MPs in 2022, but didn't prevent Macky Sall from forming a government after both elections.

Electoral history[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

Election Party candidate Votes % Votes % Result
First Round Second Round
1978 Abdoulaye Wade 174,817 17.8% Lost Red XN
1983 161,067 14.79% Lost Red XN
1988 291,869 25.80% Lost Red XN
1993 415,295 32.03% Lost Red XN
2000 518,740 31.01% 969,332 58.49% Won Green tickY
2007 1,914,403 55.90% Won Green tickY
2012 942,327 34.81% 992,556 34.20% Lost Red XN

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 former Prime Minister Macky Sall.[9]

National Assembly elections[edit]

Election Party leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Outcome
1978 Abdoulaye Wade 172,948 17.88%
18 / 100
New Increase 2nd Opposition
1983 150,785 13.97%
8 / 120
Decrease 10 Steady 2nd Opposition
1988 275,552 24.74%
17 / 120
Increase 9 Steady 2nd Opposition
1993 321,585 30.21%
27 / 120
Increase 10 Steady 2nd Opposition
1998 233,287 19.1%
23 / 140
Decrease 4 Steady 2nd Opposition
2001[a] 931,617 49.6%
89 / 120
Increase 66 Increase 1st Coalition
(Sopi Coalition)
2007[b] 1,190,609 69.21%
131 / 150
Increase 42 Steady 1st Coalition
(Sopi 2007)
2012 298,846 15.23%
12 / 150
Decrease 113 Decrease 2nd Opposition
2017[c] 552,095 16.68%
19 / 165
Increase 7 Steady 2nd Opposition
2022[d] 471,517 14.46%
24 / 165
Increase 5 Decrease 3rd Opposition
  1. ^ Run within Sopi Coalition.
  2. ^ Run within Sopi 2007 coalition.
  3. ^ Run within Manko Wattu Sénégal coalition.
  4. ^ Run within Wallu Sénégal coalition.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  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. 2015-03-24. ISBN 9781483371580. OCLC 912321323.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: others (link)
  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.

External links[edit]