President Macky Sall leaves Senegal in uncertainty as to the end of his reign

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Senegal is impatiently awaiting the final decision of President Macky Sall, whose second and final term ends in less than two years.

The West African country’s political pundits say no head of state in Senegal has ever voluntarily ended his rule at the end of his second term. Will Macky Sall mark history by complying with this constitutional provision adopted in 2001?

Will he respect the provisions of article 27 which stipulate that “no one may exercise more than two [presidential] terms”. “I will answer this question after the legislative elections”, said President Macky Sall during an interview.

Legislative elections are scheduled for July 31 and will serve as a prelude to the next presidential election.

What are your intentions for the 2024 presidential elections Will you run for another term?

I will answer this question after the legislative elections. Then it will be time to set the course for 2024. In the meantime, we have work to do and there is little time to waste.

What do you expect from the July legislative elections?

A clear victory. It is above all a question of consistency with the choices of the Senegalese people, who re-elected me.

We have implemented an extremely demanding economic and social program, the Emerging Senegal Plan, which has produced undeniable results in all respects.

We have reduced the poverty rate by five points and significantly improved all macroeconomic indicators, despite the Covid-19 crisis followed by the war in Ukraine.

To protect the population, we have frozen prices so that people can cope with rising prices for energy, food, etc. This will cost the state nearly 657 billion CFA francs, or nearly 1 billion euros in household support for the year 2022 alone.

Not to mention the increase in civil service salaries, the structural transformation of the economy, the energy transition, the development of infrastructure, etc.

For these policies to continue, the government must have a majority so as not to waste time. Does the opposition want cohabitation? You know very well that even in developed countries this rarely succeeds. I cannot imagine such a scenario in Senegal.

We are under a presidential regime: we elect a president and then give him the majority to govern. The transition from a seven-year term to a five-year term has changed the situation, but it does not change anything fundamentally: Senegal, like Africa, needs stability.

Former President Abdoulaye Wade blamed you for imprisoning his son Karim. Later, you gave his name to the Diamniadio Olympic Stadium. Does that mean you buried the hatchet?

I have no problem with him. I went against him, after 18 or 19 years of mentorship, because we had a disagreement.

It happens in politics. I beat him in the presidential elections. He became my adversary, and I naturally accepted that. Today, all of that is behind us. Not least because President Wade is now an old man.

As a matter of principle, I will not fight an old man. I had to find a name at this stage, and it seemed to me that, to honor his political commitment and his work at the head of Senegal, naming a temple of sport and youth after him was a good idea. I did what had to be done. Now the rest is just politics.

Additional reports from The Africa Report

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