Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

Posts by Category

Showing posts for "Senegal"

Bravo Senegal!

by Elliott Abrams
Senegalese people wait for a polling station to open in the second round of the presidential polls, in the capital Dakar March 25, 2012. (Courtesy REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly) Senegalese people wait for a polling station to open in the second round of the presidential polls, in the capital Dakar March 25, 2012. (Courtesy REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly)

Yesterday Senegal went to the polls and struck a powerful blow on behalf of democracy in Africa and in the Islamic world.

President Abdoulaye Wade has held power for twelve years, and changed the constitution to permit himself to run for another term. But giving credit where it is due, he did not award himself another term; he gave himself another chance. The people of Senegal went to the polls on February 26 in the first round of elections and denied Wade the majority he needed to escape a far more difficult second round. That round occurred yesterday (March 25) and, with all his opponents uniting behind former prime minister Macky Sall, Wade was defeated. Read more »

This Week’s Elections

by Elliott Abrams

The elections this week—February 27 in Senegal, March 2 in Iran, and March 4 in Russia—are reminders of the key role elections play in building democracy.

It has been fashionable for years to say “elections don’t mean democracy” or “elections should come at the end of the road, when democracy is firmly built.” Of course elections are only part of a truly democratic system, which must also include critical building blocks like freedom of expression and the rule of law. And of course elections held in a non-democratic system and run by a non-democratic regime will be highly imperfect and often flatly fraudulent. Read more »