Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Senegal President Macky Sall won’t seek re-election in 2024

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

Senegal President Macky Sall has ruled out seeking re-election in next year’s general elections.

His speech on Monday was highly anticipated and his decision puts an end to widespread speculation that he would run again.

“There has been much speculation and commentary on my eventual candidature on this election,” Sall said in a televised speech. “The 2019 term was my second and last term.”

Mr. Sall was elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2019 but he had the Constitution revised in 2016.

The revised constitution stipulates that “no one may serve more than two consecutive terms”.

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Sall’s supporters had said he was free to contest in 2024 because the revision has reset the counters to zero.

Carefully considered decision

“My decision, carefully considered… is not to run as a candidate in the upcoming election on Feb. 25, 2024. And this, even though the constitution grants me the right,” President Sall said.

There were concerns any attempt by Sall to seek re-election would spark violent reactions.

When then President Abdoulaye Wade in 2012 attempted to seek a third term in office it plunged the country into chaos and violence, leading to 12 deaths.

President Sall’s decision has been praised by some regional leaders including the presidents of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum and Guinea Bissau’s Umaro Sissoco Embalo.

The African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat also commended him in a tweet.

“I salute the wise and salutary decision of my brother, the president Macky Sall, not to run for the presidential election of 2024,” Mahamat wrote.

“I express my admiration for the great statesman that he is for having privileged the best interests of Sénégal and thus preserving the Senegalese democratic model which is the pride of Africa.”

Opposition reactions

Before President Sall’s speech, the opposition leader Ousmane Sonko called for a mass protest against him should he announce seeking a third term in office.

“What would have surprised us is if Macky Sall had declared his candidacy for 2024. We all know that he wanted to… unfortunately for him, the pressure was such that he had no choice but to respect the constitution, which he himself cited several times, which he had voted in 2016,” Abass Fall, a member of parliament and co-ordinator of Pastef said in reaction.

Aminata Touré, a former prime minister who is now in opposition said Mr Sall’s decision to respect the constitution was due to coercion.

“No one was prepared to accept the democratic regression he envisaged. So, in desperation, he respects the Constitution. If he had done so much sooner, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” she said.

A former trade minister and leader of the ruling Alliance pour la République party, Aminata Assome Diatta, described Sall’s declaration as “historic”.

“Today is a historic date, and more than in the past, the President of the Republic has shown the world that politics can go hand in hand with ethics,” she said.


Senegal’s president under pressure not to seek third term


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