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The run-up to Sunday's presidential election in Senegal has been marked by violence and protests against veteran President Abdoulaye Wade. Known as "The Hare" for his political cunning, Wade is standing for a third term.

Here is a look back at Wade as president of Senegal:

March 2000 - Wade's victory in the presidential election ends four decades of Socialist domination since independence from France in 1960.

January 2001 - A referendum shortens future presidential terms to five years.

April 2001 - Wade's Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) wins an overwhelming majority in parliamentary elections.

December 2004 - Senegal signs a peace deal with rebels in the southern province of Casamance. The rebel Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) has fought a low-level insurgency for greater autonomy for the largely Christian and animist region since 1982. Hundreds have been killed.

December 2006 - Senegal agrees to extend EU border patrols along its coast to stem a flood of illegal migrants to the Canary Islands. Senegal is a favourite starting point for migrants.

Visiting Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announces 20 million euros ($26.31 million) in aid to express Spain's gratitude.

February 2007 - Wade wins new presidential elections. The Constutional Court throws out an appeal by two opposition parties over alleged irregularities.

May 2009 - Wade names a new government, notably including his son Karim, despite losses in March local government elections which deal a blow to the Wade family.

-- The new government, led by Prime Minister Souleymane Ndene Ndiaye, took over from Cheikh Hajibou Soumare, after Wade's party lost control of the council in Dakar and several other key cities.

December 2009 - Police in the mostly Muslim country break up a protest outside Dakar's cathedral after Catholics accused Wade of making disparaging comments about Jesus.

-- Wade's dispute with the small but influential Catholic community was the latest twist in a controversy over Wade's personal plan for a huge monument overlooking Dakar that depicts the "African renaissance". The giant statue was finally unveiled in April 2010 and Wade brushed aside complaints that the $28 million project was a waste of money and un-Islamic.

June 2011 - Senegal is rocked by protests over power cuts that catalysed anger against Wade.

-- The riots followed anti-government protests after Wade tried to make changes to the constitution that his rivals said would make it easier for him to win re-election in February polls. Wade quickly backed down.

-- Wade's critics said changes to the constitution in 2001 barred him from a third term. His backers argued the changes could not be applied retroactively to his election in 2000, meaning he had scope for one more mandate.

December 2011 - The ruling PDS party chooses Wade as its candidate for the Feb. 26 election.

January 2012 - Musician Youssou Ndour says he is standing as candidate in opposition to Wade.

- Senegal's top constitutional body rules on January 27 that Wade is eligible to stand for a third term. The court also rejects Ndour's presidential bid. The decision is confirmed on January 30.

-- The ruling sparks protests across the country and one policeman is killed.

-- On January 28 the opposition says it will make the country "ungovernable" if Wade insists on running for a third term.

February 2012 - Wade's main rivals pledge on February 4 to campaign together in an effort to force him to withdraw from the election, underscoring rising tensions in Senegal.

-- Hundreds of opposition supporters clash with security forces in Dakar as EU observers criticise a ban on protests. Six people have so far been killed in protests.

Presidential elections take place on Saturday February 26.

(Reuters)