Wade shows no sign of relinquishing power

NAIROBI, Kenya — He's 85-years old, has ruled since 2000 and has no intention of giving up power now.

Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade has been cleared to run for an unconstitutional "third term" and, handily, the same judges who gave him the nod also barred his strongest challenger, the musician Youssou N'Dour.

Violent riots followed the announcement on Friday which was subsequently challenged by N'Dour. His appeal has now been thrown out.

More on GlobalPost: Senegal upholds ruling allowing Wade to seek third term

Where does this leave Senegal? Looking an awful lot like a North African state round about this time last year.

Opposition and civil society groups are promising "mass action" against Wade's candidacy.

N'Dour, 52, may be something of a totem for anti-Wade groups but he's also a little late to the game. Young Senegalese musicians — and rappers in particular — have been challenging the president and leading protests for months.

More on GlobalPost: Riots in Senegal after Wade is cleared to seek third term

By refusing to let power go Wade is heading for a collision with his country's young and disenfranchised population. The size of the protests to come and the way the authorities choose to handle them will determine whether Senegal is to become the first state in sub-Saharan Africa to feel the Arab Spring.

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