Senegalese socialist leader Ousmane Tanor Dieng, an ally of President Macky Sall and a former aide to his predecessors Léopold Sédar Senghor and Abdou Diouf, died Monday in France, at 72, from illness.
Ousmane Tanor Dieng, born in January 1947, died in Bordeaux (south-west of France) where he was treated, it was specified in his entourage.
Responsible for the presidential coalition, he headed the High Council of Local Government, an institution resulting from the constitutional revision of 2016 at the head of which had appointed the head of state.
Mr. Sall welcomed in a statement “a statesman of exceptional size”, as well as an “eminent and loyal ally, a great militant of Senegal”.
Ousmane Tanor Dieng was the secretary general of the Socialist Party (PS), a formation belonging to the ruling coalition that led Senegal to independence in 1960 and led it until 2000, the date of the Liberal’s election. Abdoulaye Wade.
This trained diplomat, from the National School of Administration and Judiciary of Dakar (Enam), was a diplomatic advisor to Senghor (1960-1980) before becoming, as Minister of State for the presidency, the principal collaborator and confidant of President Diouf (1981-2000). He was an irreducible opponent to Abdoulaye Wade (2000-2012).
Tanor, the Republican
This placid statesman, former deputy and former head of the Socialist International, was praised by several Senegalese officials for his republican qualities.
Ousmane Tanor Dieng was not a great tribune, being rather famous for his beautiful pen, a reason why the poet-president, Senghor, had called him by his side, according to members of the PS.
His detractors have attributed to him the decline since 2000 of the PS, of which he was twice the unfortunate candidate, in the presidential elections of 2007 and 2012, and who no longer plays the leading roles in Senegal. Mr. Dieng has always defended himself.
They accused him of not having supported the former mayor of Dakar, Khalifa Sall, a dissident of the PS in detention since March 2017 and whose supporters attribute the legal difficulties to his will to present against Macky Sall in 2019 .
Khalifa Sall, excluded from the PS, was sentenced in August 2018 on appeal to five years in prison for “swindle on public funds” of about 2.5 million euros collected between 2011 and 2015 on the coffers of the City of Dakar. His appeal against his dismissal from the mayor of Dakar was rejected last week by the Supreme Court.