Former Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade (2000-2012) called on the population on Tuesday to peacefully oppose the holding of a “locked” presidential election on February 24 to renew his successor Macky Sall.
In a video broadcast three days after the start of the official campaign, Abdoulaye Wade denounced the elimination by the Constitutional Council, “under false pretenses”, of “two candidates who could overshadow the outgoing president”, his Karim’s own son and former Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall, both struck by court convictions.
“We have chosen to oppose the holding of an election entirely made for the sole purpose of re-electing the outgoing president,” said in this video Mr. Wade, 92, in which he discusses his next return to Senegal, announced for Thursday by his entourage, but without confirming the date.
After making a harsh indictment of his successor, accused of instituting a regime of “unprecedented financial gluttony” and putting the judiciary in his service, Mr. Wade called on Senegalese to “ensure that ‘there is no ballot’.
“Our action will be peaceful, respectful of the law and regulations,” he said, however, explaining that the training he founded, the Senegalese Democratic Party ( PDS , Liberal), was preparing with other trends of the opposition a “program of actions by February 23, in the day of February 24 and beyond”.
A sponsorship system denounced
The former president also denounced the widespread sponsorship system introduced for this election, of which emerged, in addition to Macky Sall, only four candidates: former Prime Minister Idrissa Seck, the former minister Madické Niang, and two deputies elected in 2017, the former high official Ousmane Sonko and Issa Sall, leader of a party close to the religious movement.
Mr. Wade, who usually lives in France, asked Macky Sall to “overcome his stubbornness” by reviewing the rules of the game and by establishing a “National Commission for Democratic Transition”, even if postponed “if necessary” the poll to discuss with the opposition.
In aiming for re-election “in the first round”, Macky Sall created “serious dangers of destabilization of Senegal in the violence,” said the former president, citing the example of Côte d’Ivoire, Burundi, or of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where electoral clashes have left hundreds or even thousands dead.
An opposition coalition comprising most of the candidates eliminated by the sponsorship system has launched on 21 January a call for “confrontation” and “mobilization” against the “plan of reelection fraudulent Macky Sall in the first round”, remained without echo.
Already in 2015, Abdoulaye Wade, beaten in the second round in 2012 by Macky Sall, had evoked this type of scenario in case of conviction of his son Karim, without managing to mobilize crowds.