Senegal: “Macky Sall is afraid of a succession that he does not control”, denounces Thierno Alassane Sall

By filing, on January 16, a complaint before the Constitutional Council against the candidate Karim Wade to denounce his dual French-Senegalese nationality, Thierno Alassane Sall could hardly imagine that his gesture would lead, three weeks later, to the postponement of the 'presidential election

Senegal: “Macky Sall is afraid of a succession that he does not control”, denounces Thierno Alassane Sall

By filing, on January 16, a complaint before the Constitutional Council against the candidate Karim Wade to denounce his dual French-Senegalese nationality, Thierno Alassane Sall could hardly imagine that his gesture would lead, three weeks later, to the postponement of the 'presidential election. And that he would, in spite of himself, be at the origin of the unprecedented crisis that Senegal is going through.

Because the rejection of the candidacy of the son of former president Abdoulaye Wade caused a chain reaction. Scandalized by the decision of the Constitutional Council, the deputies of the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) obtained, with the support of part of the presidential bloc, the establishment of a parliamentary commission targeting the body responsible for supervising the process electoral. An initiative on which the Head of State, Macky Sall, relied on to postpone the presidential election, citing in his speech on February 3 “troubled conditions [which] could seriously harm the credibility of the election.”

For Thierno Alassane Sall, former minister of energy and close to the head of state before joining the opposition in 2017, the head of state especially needed “a pretext because his candidate, the current prime Minister Amadou Ba, was going to lose”.

Not at all, I'm proud of it. I am seen as the opponent who attacked an opponent, but I only respected the Constitution and its article 28 which says that the President of the Republic of Senegal must be exclusively Senegalese. What would be my legitimacy today to attack Macky Sall's decision to postpone the vote if I had remained silent?

I did not think that Karim Wade, who made false statements by lying about his dual nationality twice in 2019 and then in 2023, would dare to challenge his removal from the list of candidates for the presidential election. Rose Wardini, a candidate whose file had been validated, was arrested and then released under judicial supervision even though she was in a similar situation, having declared only one nationality even though she had two. There is a difference in treatment: not only is Karim Wade not worried, but he has the support of the majority to push through a postponement which could ultimately allow him to run.

Macky Sall was looking for a pretext to postpone the election, because his candidate, the current Prime Minister, Amadou Ba was going to lose. He needed Karim Wade's Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) and its 24 votes in the National Assembly to circumvent the Constitution by passing the bill pushing back the vote to December 15. Macky Sall is afraid of a succession that he does not control.

He has a lot to be ashamed of, particularly in the context of oil contracts. Implicated by an investigation by the British channel BBC which accused him in 2019 of having obtained a bribe for the award of two oil and gas concessions, his brother, Aliou Sall, had to resign from management of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations. When a politician is desperate, headlong flight can be dangerous. Senegal is poor, it has few resources, its youth is poorly trained, but its political stability was a precious asset and it jumped.

There was a lot of dialogue during Macky Sall's two mandates, which says a lot about his mode of governance. He negotiates in the shadows with political actors and then validates these agreements within the framework of a national dialogue. This is what happened with Khalifa Sall and Karim Wade who participated in the last national dialogue in June 2023 in order to negotiate their return to the political scene. While their applications were rejected in 2019, a law was passed in the National Assembly last August to allow them to participate this year. The same negotiations are currently happening at the moment with the various political actors. We cannot condone such operation.

We are going to attack the decree which repeals that on the summoning of the electorate to the Supreme Court, because it is not based on any legal basis. At the same time, we will refer the matter to the Constitutional Council on the unconstitutionality of the proposed law which postpones the presidential election until December 15. The Council is targeted by serious accusations of corruption, relayed by Macky Sall himself. The President of the Republic therefore risks saying that the conclusions of the Constitutional Council do not bind him. But I still wanted to make these appeals to push the authorities and the Council to expose themselves.

We were all surprised by President Macky Sall's decision, everyone was ready to start the electoral campaign. Now, what we want, with the collective of candidates for the February 25 election which brings together thirteen political leaders who were in the running for the presidential election, is to meet other blocks of civil society, unions, transporters , the different orders of doctors and lawyers to be able to mobilize together and as widely as possible.

Obviously, these are heterogeneous actors who are not necessarily used to discussing. But the objective is to agree on a strategy so that the elections are held before April 2, the official date of the end of Macky Sall's mandate. We are facing a constitutional coup d'état where the head of state has tarnished Senegalese democracy and smeared parliamentarians. He must come to his senses by accepting that he should never have stopped the electoral process.