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Opposition Rhetorics In Senegal

The election atmosphere is vibrating in Senegal as the nation braces towards legislative elections billed for July 2022. In the quest to win more seats in the upcoming legislatives, strong opposition parties in Senegal, Yewwi Askan Wi coalition of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko and the Wallu Sénégal coalition of former President Abdoulaye Wade, which seems threatened by a buoyant Benno coalition of incumbent President Macky Sall have decided to unite in order to win the next parliamentary elections and garner remarkable seats in Senegal’s parliament. Their plight is to supersede the ruling party and stifle hopes for a presidential third term by Macky Sall in 2024. Under one umbrella, the opposition underlined as reason for which it wants to unite against Sall, is primarily to take control of the National Assembly. Secondly it hopes to achieve a parliamentary turnaround with a national assembly that is reconciled with the Senegalese people that is representative and thirdly, to block Sall’s candidacy in the 2024 presidential election, according to Mamadou Lamine Diallo, a member of the opposition. However, the anxiety exercised by the opposition has subsided as the Constitutional Council rejected the national list of Yewwi Askan WI, pointing to a bleak future for Sonko’s candidacy. This move, the opposition says is maneuvered by the Benno Bokk Yakaar. However, the Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Economy, Alioune Ndoye, explaining why the Constitutional Council took that decision, cautioned that the opponents “did not respect minor rules such as those relating to parity and sponsorship”. Ndoye undeniably criticised the opposition for having made an error in choosing an ineligible person to represent them, stating: “A person cannot be present in two lists (holder and substitute) according to the law.” Equally addressing the issue, President Sall on June 9 indicated: “A list which does not respect what the law says, is eliminated. If we are a stable country, it is no coincidence. We have an electoral code, it has been discussed for months”, before concluding, “why when it comes to the opposition, that there is an unfavorable decision, we will call for the end of the world.”

Moving forward, the problematic is how an opposition dominated parliament can meet the expectations of Senegalese. The nitty gritty surrounding opposition in Africa is that it is more rhetorical than practical in its undertakings as the goal is just to define its position in the political sphere and push through with political agenda rather than deliver their electoral promises. The establishment of democratic principles have shown to what extent elections have brought a great milestone heralding change, rebirth, and renewal. Elections have offered an opportunity to deepen, consolidate, institutionalise democracy and strengthen good governance systems in Africa. Senegal under the leadership of President Sall has largely been praised for instituting democracy and remains a beacon of hope for political democracy in Africa.

Former US President Barack Obama once said: “We don’t need strong people, we need strong institutions.” This philosophical ideology correlates with that of President Sall as his leadership style has helped to propel the West African state, boosting economic buoyancy and reducing instances of civil unrest and radicalism. According to pundits, the leadership character of H.E. Macky Sall remains formidable. His leadership has brought Senegal more enlightenment, advancement, freedom, social equality, religious tolerance and international recognition of the country. Under his rule, Senegal has witnessed an unprecedented rate of economic growth and development in infrastructure such as roads, bridges, energy, transportation, communication, health and agriculture expansion, cultural harmony, unity and cohesion. These are at the center of his style of administration. Macky is always looking to maintain the peace and stability of Senegal. The 31 July legislative elections seek to renew the 165 members of the National Assembly. 2024 is the presidential election year in Senegal.

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