DAKAR, April 24 Former Senegalese President
Abdoulaye Wade will return to his West African nation on Friday
for the first time since losing 2012 elections, two days later
than planned due to problems with his flight, his Senegalese
Democratic Party (PDS) said.
Wade's return was delayed after his hired jet was stuck in
Morocco, prompting accusations from the PDS that the flight had
been refused permission to land in Dakar on Wednesday.
A government spokesman denied that authorization for Wade's
jet to land had been refused, saying no request had been
received ahead of time.
"To allow all those who want to come in big numbers to
welcome him, our party asked President Wade to postpone his
arrival till Friday April 25 and he agreed," PDS said in a
Wade's impending return has heightened tensions in one of
Africa's most stable democracy.
Senegalese police dispersed hundreds of Wade's supporters
who gathered at Dakar airport to welcome him on Wednesday.
Outside Dakar's main university, pro-Wade students threw rocks
at police and they responded with tear gas.
The return of Wade, whose son Karim is facing corruption
charges, is awaited by his party which heads to local elections
in June looking to capitalize on frustration at stubborn
unemployment under his successor, Macky Sall.
Wade, 87, who has been living in France for the past two
years, decided to come back after authorities decided last week
to press ahead with his son's trial in June. Local media see
Wade's return as a way to put pressure on Sall's government
before the trial.
Many ordinary people in Senegal say Sall's drive to tackle
corruption and improve governance has failed to provide jobs and
economic growth in the former French colony of 13 million
(Reporting By Diadie Ba; Editing by Bate Felix and Daniel