Macky Sall and Ousmane Sonko in a political confrontation
Sall vs. Sonko
Is Senegal heading in direction of a political panorama with out opposition? Macky Sall and Ousmane Sonko every addressed individually, on nationwide tv, the occasions which disturbed the nation for a number of days.
The duel between the 2 males, hitherto stifled and basically confined to the final two electoral campaigns – legislative in 2017 and presidential in 2019 – is now going down in broad daylight.
On the night of March 8, Ousmane Sonko, president of the Pastef-The Patriots occasion, and Macky Sall, head of state since 2012 and founding father of Alliance for the Republic (APR), took activates nationwide tv to handle, every in their very own means, the unrest that shook the capital and several other giant cities in early March.
The 2 males have one factor in frequent: the necessity to proceed with warning on the topic that ignited the fireplace. Not too long ago launched from lengthy custody on bail, Sonko is barred from talking concerning the case towards him – a rape cost introduced by a younger worker of a therapeutic massage parlor he frequents – who’s the explanation for this unprecedented chaos. This weighs closely on him and dangers nipping a promising political profession within the bud. As for Sall, his standing as head of state prohibits him from publicly influencing a case that’s earlier than the courts.
Earlier than addressing the delayed “shock” between the 2 males over the Sonko affair, just a little background.
On the one hand, there’s Sall, 59, president of Senegal since April 2012 (reelected in 2019 for five years). He’s on the head of a authorities coalition that has change into so highly effective that it has bled the opposition.
And on the opposite, there’s the opposition troublemaker Sonko, 46, who entered politics in 2014 after beforehand working as a tax inspector. He’s seen as one of many final surviving members of the opposition, and due to this fact, a tangible pressure towards Sall. On February 26, his parliamentary immunity was lifted by his friends, which now exposes him to the wrath of the regulation.
On March 8, barely out of a protracted interval of police custody which led to riots and repression operations in Dakar unprecedented for the reason that stormy presidential marketing campaign of 2012, Sonko referred to as a press convention at his headquarters. left.
It was a dangerous train, as he was prohibited from talking publicly concerning the case towards him; one of many situations of his launch on bail. He due to this fact circumvented the impediment and delivered his lengthy speech – in Wolof then in French – an ample political indictment towards the Head of State.
He referred to as for “the instant and unconditional launch of the political prisoners of Macky Sall”, whom he believed to be “greater than 100 kidnapped within the nation”, utilizing, he mentioned, “fascist strategies. “. He added: “Senegal has by no means recognized a political disaster like this”, and referred to as for a referral – inconceivable – to the Worldwide Felony Courtroom (ICC) regarding the ten victims of the clashes which have occurred in current days, which he assimilates to “crimes towards humanity”.
For an hour, regardless of not respecting one of many situations of his deposit that might result in a protracted jail sentence, Sonko dealt many blows towards his principal political opponent, going as far as to problem an ultimatum. “Macky Sall, having betrayed the Senegalese individuals and damaged his oath, is now not capable of lead the Senegalese individuals. He has not been reputable for the reason that begin of his second time period. If we had been underneath completely different circumstances, individuals would have walked on the palace and brought Macky Sall by pressure. However I strongly advise towards it.
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The tone of Sall’s speech, launched moments later, is drastically completely different. “I invite calm and serenity. […] All in all, let’s maintain our animosity for ourselves and keep away from confrontation, which solely makes issues worse, ”mentioned the top of state, who has not been confronted with such an explosive scenario for the reason that begin of his first job. mandate. As for the bone of rivalry that sparked the riots, Sall mentioned that “on the judicial aspect of this disaster, let justice take its course.” He additionally listed a number of measures that he hoped would calm the spirits of Senegalese youth, together with easing the curfew within the Dakar and Thiès areas.
An unconstitutional third time period?
Sall vs Sonko: two opposing types in a face-to-face this now appears to be the primary stake of the presidential election of 2024. Nevertheless, the situation which emerges suggests, in view of current occasions, a tense pre-campaign.
First, as a result of many observers and protagonists of the Senegalese political scene imagine that Sall, though not but formally introduced, intends to run for a 3rd presidential time period. If he does determine to run once more, the reactions that may be provoked by this unconstitutional third time period in workplace, in a rustic uninterested in “wax waxeet” (“I mentioned it, I commit myself to it”), are already foreseeable. .
Second, as a result of if the rape case towards Sonko leads to a conviction, he would robotically be disqualified from working for president. Once more, it isn’t tough to anticipate the doubtless penalties.
In 2016, we counted “42 members or sympathizers of the Senegalese Democratic Get together (PDS, the opposition) who’ve been imprisoned since 2012, from grassroots activists to the best officers. Since then, that determine has solely elevated as members or supporters of different events have additionally been arrested.
Right now, between the political tenors firmly loyal to the president (Aïssata Tall Sall, Modou Diagne Fada, Idrissa Seck …) and people who can not stand for an election (Karim Wade, Khalifa Sall, and maybe tomorrow Sonko), the chance of Sall working unopposed within the 2024 presidential election could be very excessive. This situation was introduced in the course of the 2019 election. Solely 4 candidates confronted the outgoing president (of whom solely two may hope to threaten him), the 28 others having seen their candidacy rejected by the Constitutional Council.
Till Sall decides to run for a 3rd time period or to nominate somebody to run in his place, his political camp can have, till then, to replicate on this verse from Pierre Corneille, from The Cid: “To overcome with out hazard, we triumph with out glory.”