In Senegal, the presidential camp lost its grip on the Assembly

After a four-day battle of numbers between power and the opposition, in Senegal, the national commission of the census of votes finally decided, Thursday, August 4: by winning 82 seats out of 165, the movement of the Senegalese president, Macky Sall, narrowly won the legislative elections, but he did not get an absolute majority, except for one deputy. A first in the country’s history since its independence in 1960.

Also read: Legislative elections in Senegal: the presidential camp loses its absolute majority, according to provisional official results

According to the official provisional results, which were announced at the end of the afternoon, in the court of Dakar, the ruling coalition, Benno Bokk Yakaar (“united for the same hope”), lost 43 deputies compared to the previous legislature. A fall that did not prevent Aminata Touré, the head of the national list, to congratulate herself on a “clear and unmistakable victory”. “Fair game, he launched, Thursday night, at the party headquarters, in the capital, others want to recognize their loss. »

It was clearly not their intention. The opposition, after winning major town halls such as Dakar, Ziguinchor or Thiès, during the local elections in January, continues its collapse. According to the provisional results, the Yewwi Askan Wi coalition (“liberation of the people”, YAW), especially led by Ousmane Sonko, won 56 seats, to which were added 24 representatives of the Wallu Senegal coalition , led by former president Abdoulaye. Wade. Between them, these formations, which made an alliance before the ballot, therefore combined 80 representatives, neck and neck with power.

At the end of the Council of Ministers held on Wednesday, President Macky Sall, for his part, was happy with the smooth running of the elections. “in calmness, peace and transparency, throughout the national territory”. A line shared by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, who, even before the announcement of the results, tweeted “Thank you to President Macky Sall for our call yesterday” and addressed to his “Congratulations to the Senegalese people and the Senegalese democracy for the spirit of calm and responsibility in which the legislative elections took place”.

Violent demonstrations

The observer mission of the Economic Community of West African States, which noted the behavior “Peaceful and transparent” on the ballot, recommended by political parties in “avoid any premature announcement of results” and on “use regulatory remedies in case of litigation. » The pre-campaign was marked by violent demonstrations that left at least three dead due to the invalidity of the Constitutional Council of one of the lists of the coalition led by Ousmane Sonko, forced to stop participating in the elections .

Also read: Legislative in Senegal: the president’s camp claims victory, the opposition fights

Speaking of irregularities and fraud, Déthié Fall, the national agent of YAW, said Thursday morning that “any result announced will not join the Yewwi-Wallu intercoalition”. The other day, Aïda Mbodj, another opposition leader, spoke “ballot filling” and on “They are prefabricated and unsigned minutes [le pouvoir] do themselves, in the localities of northern Senegal, considered President Sall’s stronghold. There are so many mistakes that can be made, according to Mr. Fall, affect the results of the proportional vote and therefore the distribution of parliamentary seats. Requests have been made to the Constitutional Council, which has five days to rule and announce the final results of the ballot.

“This remains a victory for us, because the regime in power does not have a parliamentary majority, this is an unprecedented fact. The opposition in general is in the majority., estimates Cheikh Tidiane Youm, one of the YAW leaders, including in his tally the results of three small coalitions where each won a seat. The latter will play the role of arbiter in the struggle for the emerging parliamentary majority.

A cohabitation is excluded

It also remains to be seen whether the Yewwi-Wallu intercoalition will continue in the long term. “Abdoulaye Wade, who would do anything for his son Karim [exilé à Doha après avoir été condamné, en 2015, à six ans de prison pour « enrichissement illicite »], has yet to speak. It’s not over yet”, warns Moussa Diaw, teacher-researcher of political science at Gaston-Berger University in Saint-Louis. According to many sources, contacts have begun to be made between the camp of the former head of state and the current movement of the president.

“This is a complicated configuration for a Head of State!, emphasized by Moussa Diaw. He is not required to choose the Prime Minister [un poste supprimé en 2019 et rétabli en décembre 2021] of the parliamentary majority, but that is the tradition. He had to check the balance of power, and his room for maneuver was very limited. » A tie is excluded, if the presidential camp is unable to establish an absolute majority.

A year and a half before the 2024 presidential election, “This closes the debate on the third term for Macky Sall”G. Diaw believes that for whom there is a “defeat” and one “rejection of government policy. » The high cost of living, the lack of jobs and prospects for young people, the poor administration has taken a toll on the popularity of the head of state, according to the political scientist, ten years after the his first election, in 2012.

Also read: Legislative elections in Senegal: the opposition calls for the suspension of the publication of the results

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