✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters
Click Here To Listen To Trust Radio Live

Political tsunami in Senegal

I have been in Senegal as part of the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission led by Professor Ibrahim Gambari, and the story of the 2024 polls…

I have been in Senegal as part of the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission led by Professor Ibrahim Gambari, and the story of the 2024 polls here is a pleasing one. The Senegalese have the capacity to throw out ruling presidents when they derail. In other words, they understand the theory of democracy.

Ten days before the March 24, Senegalese presidential election, a 44-year-old candidate, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, was in jail together with his mentor, friend and party leader, Ousmane Sonko.

On Tuesday next week, Faye will be sworn in as president with 54.28 per cent of total votes cast. President Macky Sall has been jailing all the political actors that he considered threats to his third term agenda using the judiciary and an evil genius professor of law that the Senegalese call “Tailleur constitutional” who has the skills to turn the law to its opposite to service the ambition of his power drunk boss.

Before the duo of Faye and Sonko were jailed, the son of former President Abdoulaye Wade, Karin, and Khalifa Sall, a former Mayor of Dakar, had both been turned into criminals through abuse of the judicial process, removed from the political arena for some time and jailed to “teach them a lesson” – “Don’t challenge President Macky Sall.”

Both of them, however, remained in the race – Khalifa was able to contest in the presidential election but Karim Wade was disqualified for having a second nationality, French. His dad, who had also tried and failed to get a third term in 2012, was determined that his beloved son, Karim, must be president. He, therefore, made a deal with the president, the devil that had blocked him 12 years earlier.  The deal was that the ruling party would work with Wade’s supporters to force through an unconstitutional postponement of the presidential election by 10 months allowing the president to stay beyond his tenure and creating enough time for Karim Wade to give up his French citizenship and seek the nomination again while President Sall would use the opportunity to re-open the nomination process to change the presidential candidate he had imposed who it had become clear was not capable of winning the election. Trust the devil, the plot failed. They passed the law through the National Assembly with the required 4/5th absolute majority, but to their shock, the normally compliant Constitutional Council threw it out for being in violation of the constitution. The game was up for Wade and his son, so they moved to their next project – revenge against President Macky Sall. Just 30 hours before the elections, father and son called on their supporters to vote for Faye. This was the final nail on the coffin of President Sall as it helped push the momentum for Faye to get the 50 per cent plus one that he needed to win in the first round.

Faye’s clear first round victory was a shock to the ruling party. Sonko’s party was only a decade old and was considered a small party in the Senegalese political landscape. The election, which took place after a last-minute postponement and a whirlwind campaign cut from 21 to 12 days so that it could hold before Sall’s term ends on April 2, was shrouded in uncertainty.

Faye, the presidential candidate of the African Patriots of Senegal for Work, Ethics and Fraternity (PASTEF), was in jail and was still unknown to the public just a year ago. However, as soon as people realised his close collaboration with the charismatic party leader, Sonko, as party secretary, the slogan sold to the 7.3 million voters made sense and caught on – “Sonko mooy Diomaye, Diomaye mooy Sonko” (Sonko is Diomaye, Diomaye is Sonko) in the Wolof language. This propelled his popularity and they were able to reap rewards for establishing and growing the party over a 10-year period.

Senegal has a tradition of allowing radio and television stations to announce polling station results. So, about three hours after the elections everyone knew that computations from announcements and party agents indicated a first-round victory for opposition candidate, Faye. The following day, two days before results were announced, both the ruling party candidate, Amadou Ba, and President Sall called Faye and conceded defeat while congratulating him for the victory. The game was up and Sall would not be in office to steal the massive revenues that would be streaming in from petroleum and gas sells starting later this year.

In his victory speech, Faye promised to focus on political healing following the acrimony generated by President Sall’s reckless judicial and physical attacks on his political opponents, getting over 60 people killed while demonstrating against his scheming and jailing over 1,000 people for participating in demonstrations. He promised to govern with humility and transparency; the opposite of Sall’s traits. He above all promised a rupture disentangling Senegal from French neo-colonialism.

Meanwhile, France is in deep trouble having lost control in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, and now Senegal may be joining the bandwagon.

The incoming president is particularly popular among young voters in a country where more than 60 per cent of people are under 25 and struggle to find jobs. Faye promised to dedicate more state resources to promote youth employment and address the cost of living crisis the country is facing.

President Sall got his politics wrong. He invested heavily in importing riot control arms, gear and equipment and created new security services, some without uniforms, to shoot into demonstrating crowds. Police crackdowns on protests buoyed the opposition, as did rising living costs and concerns. His determination to extend his mandate beyond constitutional limits angered citizens.

As was the case in 2000 when Abdou Diouf was voted out and 2012 when it was Wade’s turn to be voted out, the Senegalese have demonstrated their capacity to get rid of presidents that lose their bearing.

Senegal is set to start exporting oil and gas this year, and Faye has promised a raft of changes, including plans to renegotiate oil and gas contracts, as the depth of corruption has been very high.

Due to Sall’s commitment to corruption, the elections, which were originally scheduled for February 25, were shifted on February 3, the eve of the campaign period, over flimsy arguments. This decision was unprecedented and brought both internal and international condemnation. After weeks of back and forth between the different branches of government on a new date, Sall was forced to announce on March 6, the new date of March 24, which was accepted by the Constitutional Council.

As this episode of the story ends, Sall is widely reported to have made plans to emigrate to a country without extradition agreement with Senegal as the all-powerful finally realises the guilty are afraid and power is never forever.


LEARN AFFILIATE MARKETING: Learn How to Make Money with Expertnaire Affiliate Marketing Using the Simple 3-Step Method Explained to earn $500-$1000 Per Month.
Click here to learn more.

AMAZON KDP PUBLISHING: Make $1000-$5000+ Monthly Selling Books On Amazon Even If You Are Not A Writer! Using Your Mobile Phone or Laptop.
Click here to learn more.

GHOSTWRITING SERVICES: Learn How to Make Money As a Ghostwriter $1000 or more monthly: Insider Tips to Get Started. Click here to learn more.
Click here to learn more.

SECRET OF EARNING IN CRYPTO: Discover the Secrets of Earning $100 - $2000 Every Week With Crypto & DeFi Jobs.
Click here to learn more.