Documents on Democracy

Issue Date July 2012
Volume 23
Issue 3
Page Numbers 183-85
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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 the state’s agencies of control and verification the fullness of their powers.

In the same sense, the task of cleaning up the environment in which state business gets done and the struggle against corruption and misuse of public funds are matters that I take particularly to heart.

To all those who bear a portion of responsibility for managing public monies, I want to say that I will spare no one in seeing that this trust is properly fulfilled—and I mean no one. [End Page 184]


On 27–29 April 2012, parliamentarians from around the world gathered in Ottawa, Canada, for the Sixth World Parliamentarians Convention on Tibet. The democratically elected Tibetan political leader, Lobsang Sangay, and the Dalai Lama spoke at the conference. At the conclusion of the meeting, the parliamentarians issued a declaration calling for the resumption of dialogue between China and the Tibetan government-in-exile. Excerpts appear below:

We decide as follows [to]:

Express solidarity with the Tibetan people in their nonviolent struggle for their rights and freedoms including the right to determine their own destiny,

Express support also for the Chinese people’s efforts to bring about democratic change to their country and urge that this be achieved in ways that ensure the exercise by the Tibetans of their rights and freedoms and safeguard the rights of other other minority peoples in the PRC as well,

Express concern at the domestic and international efforts by the Government of the PRC to curtail the freedom of information and control electronic and internet communications for political purposes,

Reaffirm our strong commitment to the people of Tibet and the non-violent path they have chosen, under the inspiring leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and commend the Kalon Tripa for his continuing efforts to pursue the Middle Way approach and to promote a resumption of the dialogue with the PRC,

Endorse the principles set out in the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People, which provide the basis for a realistic and sustainable political solution to the issue of Tibet,

Recall the important invitation of Deng Xiaoping to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to discuss and resolve any issues except the independence of Tibet, and note that this position has been repeated by the Government of the PRC more recently also,

Dispel the false accusation that His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration is seeking separation from the PRC since the Tibetan proposals expressly formulate a solution within the constitutional framework of the PRC and therefore call upon the government of the PRC to cease to propagate such misinformation,

Call upon the Government of the PRC to end the repression in Tibet, provide access to all Tibetan areas in the PRC, schedule the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ mission to China and especially to Tibet, and to resume the dialogue with the Envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in that same positive spirit. . . .

Commit to introducing and/or keeping these issues on the agendas of our own parliaments and international parliamentary organizations. [End Page 185]