Next Parliamentary elections in Senegal: The opposition wants to present a single list

  • May 26, 2017

The political opposition in Senegal is actively preparing the next parliamentary elections scheduled for 30 July. Opposition political leaders are preparing one or single lists. A few months ahead of the legislative elections, scheduled for July 30, the Senegalese opposition could unite and present one or single lists to face the party on power. No matter how disparate it is, the opposition in Senegal has shown signs of unity. The arrest of the mayor of Dakar, Khalifa Ababacar Sall for alleged misappropriation of public funds, was the trigger for this recomposition of the political opposition. In fact, the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS), one of the main parties of the opposition, expressed the wish to see a broad coalition face the party on power. For more than a year, political parties including PDS have gathered around a coalition called Manko Wattu Senegal (Unite to protect Senegal in local language), denouncing the management of the country by President Macky and the Political coalition that accompanies it.

The upcoming parliamentary elections are thus a real turning point for the government as well as for the opposition in Senegal. After five years in power, President Macky Sall, despite acceptable macroeconomic results (growth rate of 6%), still cannot convince a certain part of the Senegalese politicians. Some denounced financial misconduct prevailing at the top of the state, the involvement of the presidential family in the management of public affairs, the instrumentalisation of justice. A recent demonstration by the citizen movement “Yen a Marre”, which was at the forefront of the fight for the departure of former President Abdoulaye Wade, brought together the tenors of the political opposition. This presages a general discontent in the run-up to the parliamentary elections. The objective is to defeat the political coalition in power and thus establish a cohabitation at the top of the state. If the opposition succeeds in having a majority in the future National Assembly, it will have the opportunity to set up its government. A political experience never experienced in Senegal and which is so much feared because it can be a source of political instability.

One of the mentors of this political reconstruction of the opposition, former President Abdoulaye Wade, had brought together some leaders on a trip for a Muslim religious pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. But this machine of political reconstruction of the opposition might have some obstacles. Some leaders like Abdoul Mbaye, former Prime Minister of President Macky Sall or Ousmane Sonko, a young popular political leader, could act alone and band together away from the great classical opposition led by the PDS. On the side of power, arms are also sharpened. The political coalition that had brought President Macky Sall into power continues to display its unity. The President of the National Assembly, Moustapha Niass, leader of the Alliance of Progressive Forces and Ousmane Tanor Dieng, president of a Senate-like institution, reaffirmed their attachment to the political coalition and their desire to go together in the legislative elections with the party of President Macky Sall, Alliance for the Republic

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