Senegal is on edge as President Macky Sall prepares to address the nation on the Senegalese Radio-Television, revealing whether he will seek a third term in 2024. While Sall and his supporters firmly believe in the legality of a third term, not everyone shares this perspective, leading to a highly charged political atmosphere.
In a powerful message shared on social media, opposition leader Ousmane Sonko called for unwavering determination, urging his followers not to be deceived. Sonko’s objective is to exclude President Macky Sall from the presidential race following the national dialogue initiated by the head of state. He believes that the upcoming actions, likely involving urgent parliamentary procedures, aim to rehabilitate certain candidates while excluding the one who appears to be the strongest contender for the next presidential election.
Sonko’s conviction sparked violent unrest in the country, with official reports of 16 deaths and opposition claims of 29 casualties. Sonko accuses the government of using excessive force and calls on Senegal’s international partners, particularly France, to clarify their stance. Furthermore, he appeals to the government to suspend military and police collaboration with France for the next seven months. He also calls for Turkey to halt the supply of military equipment during this turbulent period.
Despite the ongoing tensions, the stakes surrounding President Macky Sall’s decision are enormous. Should Sall choose not to run for a third term, it is believed that the intense anger and frustration will subside. However, the question of his successor within the ruling party becomes paramount, with only eight months remaining until the election and no designated leader. On the other hand, if Sall announces his candidacy, concerns about a resurgence of tensions among specific segments of civil society will come to the forefront.