Parliamentary Chamber: Assemble nationale


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  Assemble nationale

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  29 April 2001

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in the National Assembly following the premature dissolution of this body on 15 February 2001. General elections had previously been held in May 1998.

Background and outcome of elections:

  After President Wade dissolved the National Assembly elected in 1998 and dominated by the Socialist Party (PS) of former President Abdou Diouf, early elections were held on 29 April 2001.

Twenty-five political parties fielded candidates in elections which were supposed to reflect a reconfiguring of the political landscape, one year after the election of Mr. Abdoulaye Wade as a new President, on 19 March 2000.

The electoral campaign was marked by various violent incidents. It focused on the impact of the changeover of political power and steps to promote economic and social recovery. Another issue was the poor coordination of marketing campaigns for peanuts, the main agricultural product and source of income for Senegalese farmers. For the opposition, delays in payments to farmers reflected the government's lack of experience and its inability to govern the country, whereas those in power ascribed such problems to the large volume of production.

Notwithstanding the favourable opinion given by the Ministry of the Interior, the Constitutional Council sided with the opposition by banning the use of President Wade's picture on his party's lists and other documents during the campaign.

Out of the 25 political parties in contention, only ten are represented in the new National Assembly. The coalition "Sopi" (which stands for "change" in the Wolof language) formed around the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) of President Wade and composed of nearly 40 parties, swept the elections, with 89 seats out of 120. In the 1998 legislative elections, former President Diouf's Socialist Party had won 93 out of the then 140 seats, as against a mere 10 in the 2001 elections. The Alliance for the Forces of Progress (AFP) of former Prime Minister Moustapha Niasse obtained 11 seats.

The Union for Democratic Renewal (URD) and And-Jf won 3 and 2 seats, respectively. Five small parties divided up the remaining seats with one seat each.

International observers from French-speaking countries and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) deemed that these elections had been free and fair.

Turnout came to some 68% of the approximately 2.8 million registered voters.

Mrs. Madior Boye, who was appointed Prime Minister in the outgoing government on 3 March 2001, was reappointed to this post on 10 May 2001.

On 18 May 2001, Mr. Youssou Diagne, a member of the PDS party of President Abdoulaye Wade, was elected Speaker of the National Assembly at that body's first special session.

Round no 1 (29 April 2001): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 2 808 253
Voters 1 888 911 (67 %)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 11 075
Valid votes 1 877 836

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Sopi Coalition 931 144 49.59
Alliance of Progressive Forces (AFP) 303 012 16.14
Socialist Party (PS) 325 979 17.36
Union for Democratic Renewal (URD) 68 956 3.67
And-Jf (AJ-PADS) 76 083 4.05
Party for Independence and Labour (PIT) 10 854 0.58
Senegalese Liberal Party (PLS) 17 232 0.92
Party for Progress and Citizenship (PPC) 17 119 0.91
Progress and Justice Alliance/Jf-Jl (APJ/JJ) 15 041 0.80
National Democratic Rally (RND) 13 279 0.71

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Sopi Coalition 89
Alliance of Progressive Forces (AFP) 11
Socialist Party (PS) 10
Union for Democratic Renewal (URD) 3
And-Jf (AJ-PADS) 2
Party for Independence and Labour (PIT) 1
Senegalese Liberal Party (PLS) 1
Party for Progress and Citizenship (PPC) 1
Progress and Justice Alliance/Jf-Jl (APJ/JJ) 1
National Democratic Rally (RND) 1

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 97
Women: 23
Percent of women: 19.16

Distribution of seats according to age:  
21 to 30 years 4
31 to 40 years 12
41 to 50 years 33
51 to 60 years 47
61 to 70 years 21
Over 70 years 3

Distribution of seats according to profession:

Teachers 30
Engineers 20
Legal professions 14
Business/Trade/Industry 12
Manual workers 11
Executives 8
Salaried employees 8
Civil servants 7
Unemployed 4
Farmers 2
Journalists/writers/publishers 2
Clergy 1
Police 1

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Copyright 2001 Inter-Parliamentary Union