Senegal: in an interview with "L'Express", Macky Sall maintains the vagueness on a 3rd mandate

The question of a 3rd term for Senegalese President Macky Salla agitates the political class and civil society. (Illustrative image) © NIPAH DENNIS/AFP

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Will President Macky Sall try to run for a 3rd term? Less than a year before the presidential election scheduled for February 2024, and in a very tense political context against the backdrop of legal proceedings against the opponent Ousmane Sonko, the head of state still maintains the vagueness. But in an interview published Monday, March 20 in the French weekly L'Express, he believes he has the right.


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With our correspondent in Dakar, Charlotte Idrac

Neither yes nor no. In this interview with L'Express, President Macky Sall remains on his line. Will he be a candidate for his succession in 2024? "I have an agenda, a job to do," he replies. "When the time comes, I will make my position known, first to my supporters, then to the Senegalese people."

But "on the legal level, the debate has been settled for a long time," adds Macky Sall, elected in 2012 for a seven-year term. His argument: during the constitutional referendum of 2016 which recorded the passage to the five-year term, the Constitutional Council "considered that my first mandate was intangible and that it was beyond the reach of the reform," explains the president. For him, "the legal question is therefore settled", even if he admits that the debate is "political".

In recent weeks, officials of the ruling coalition have multiplied calls for what they describe as the "second five-year term" of the head of state. While President Macky Sall had publicly committed in 2019 to limit himself to two terms, "I do not dedicate myself," the head of state told L'Express, speaking of "conviction of the moment". "It can change and circumstances can lead me to change my position."

A new candidacy would be "illegal" and "immoral" for the opposition and much of civil society, which warns of the risk of violent unrest to come in the country.

Candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, war in Ukraine, terrorism in Africa, North/South relations... The President of the #Sénégal Macky Sall gave an exclusive interview to @LEXPRESS

— Charlotte Lalanne (@ChaLalanne) March 20, 2023

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  • Macky Sall
  • Senegal