Senegal is scheduled to start voting for president on Feb. 25. A total of 14 candidates are ready to challenge incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade, who is determined to seek a second mandate.
Here are some facts about Wade and other major candidates:
Abdoulaye Wade was born on May 29, 1926 in Kebemer of northern Senegal.
He received senior middle school education in Paris and tertiary education in Besancon, Dijon, Grenoble of France, graduating from the Grenoble University with PhD in law and economics.
Wade became a lawyer in Senegal in 1959 and has taught in Senegal's prominent Dakar University, whose name was later changed to the Cheikh Anta Diop University. He became dean of the university's College of Law and Economics in 1970.
He has been secretary-general of the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) since he founded the party in 1974.
Wade was elected president in March 2000, before which he ran for presidency in 1978, 1983, 1988 and 1993 but all failed.
He and his French wife Viviane Vert have a son and a daughter.
The 47-year-old former prime minister Idrissa Seck has been the most trusted person of Wade but their relationship soured later.
Seck had studied in France and the United States on Wade's sponsorship and was appointed prime minister in April 2001, becoming a leader of the ruling PDS just second to Wade.
However, he was sacked in April 2004 and was arrested in July 2005 on charges of embezzlement and threat to state security. He was acquitted by court and released in February last year.
Seck declared in April 2006 that he would challenge Wade's presidency and founded the Rewmi Party. He was kicked out from the ruling party in August last year but agreed in January this year to return to the party after talks with Wade.
Seck, whose campaign theme is "real change," is believed to be more popular among young people.
Moustapha Niass, 67, is the first prime minister during Wade's presidency, being in office from March 2000 to March 2001, succeeded by Seck.
Niass founded the Alliance of Progressive Forces (AFP) in 1999 after quitting the former ruling Socialist Party.
He is rich by controlling a lion's share of the country's oil import.
Ousmane Tanor Dieng's Socialist Party had ruled the western African country for 40 years until Wade took presidency. The Socialist Party boasts more than 2 million members, about four times the size of PDS' membership, giving Dieng strong support in the campaign.