REPORTING. In Senegal, the opposition tries to mobilize the population after the extension of the mandate of President Macky Sall

While some opponents remain hopeful of galvanizing protest after the vote to postpone the presidential election, demonstrations in the streets have stopped.


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The presidential palace in Dakar, February 3, 2024. (JEROME FAVRE / MAXPPP)

The opposition is still looking for a solution in Senegal, faced with the majority’s coup and the extension of the mandate of President Macky Sall. Several options are on the table including a demonstration, a day of general strike… Is it still possible to push back the power ? Some want to believe it. But the head of state seems to have succeeded in his move, which does not suffer from any immediate challenge in the streets.

We cannot miss him, with his orange vest in the dust of the popular district of Dieuppeul, in Dakar, Ousmane Diaité, municipal agent, is in disagreement with the president and yet : “We have to let it go because he took over the army. He has everything, the police, the gendarmerie, he has everything in front of him. The Senegalese, we can’t do anything.”

Resignation, even support: for Ndeye Fatou Cissé, seller of tuna bread, the breakfast specialty, “Macky Sall is the best. He will finish what he started. That’s what he wants. For me, there will be no problem. President Sall did well, he didn’t a coup.”

Call for civil disobedience

Not far from there, in a discreet place, the opposition continues its negotiations. The anger of voters, deprived of their vote, will erupt, predicts MP Guy Marius Sagna : “Today we are working to create a front, as broad as possible, of the strong forces of Senegal, to together say no. The future of Senegal is in the hands of the Senegalese. This is why we continue to invite the Senegalese people to civil disobedience in the face of this project of confiscation of the power of the sovereign people.”

The opposition intends, finally, to file an appeal before the Constitutional Council. A wasted effort, already responds to those in power, for whom this postponement of the election now seems certain.

Report from Senegal by William de Lesseux

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