Senegal: Macky Sall launches the national dialogue, rejected by part of the opposition

This Thursday, June 1, is expected the judgment of Ousmane Sonko in his trial for accusations of rape. The opponent is still blocked at his home in Dakar by the police who crisscross the neighborhood. After a series of incidents in the capital in recent days, this judicial appointment raises fears of tensions. It is in this tense political context that President Macky Sall launched Wednesday the "national dialogue", rejected by several opposition leaders, including Ousmane Sonko.

Senegalese President Macky Sall speaks during the launch of the "national dialogue" at the Palace of the Republic in Dakar, May 31, 2023. AFP - SEYLLOU

Text by: RFI Follow


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With our correspondent in Dakar, Charlotte Idrac


There is no taboo, there is no forbidden subject " assured President Macky Sall at the opening of the ceremony at the Palace of the Republic. "Disso (exchange, in Wolof) is part of our socio-cultural heritage." And the presidential election of February 2024 "imposes itself as a subject of dialogue" according to the head of state. "The government will take all necessary steps to hold a peaceful, democratic, free and transparent election.


While the political climate is tense, "The State is and will remain standing to protect the nation, the Republic and its institutions," the president also said. "This dialogue must mark our individual and collective commitment to revive the values on which we live together in peace. Adhering to these values means banning physical and verbal violence, hate speech and stigma.


In the opposition, Khalifa Sall – declared candidate for the presidential election, but who remains for the moment ineligible, has from the outset addressed the points that annoy. "Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. President, I am a member of the opposition that you call radical. The question of the third term and the participation of all candidates in the next presidential election must be on the menu of this meeting, as well as the question of sponsorships," he said.

On the side of the PDS of former president Abdoulaye Wade, its representative Nafissatou Diallo once again evoked the request for revision of the trial of Karim Wade. Among the other personalities present, Idrissa Seck – who recently left the presidential coalition – and Moustapha Niasse, former president of the Assembly, in charge of leading the debates.

The platform of the F24 living forces, which was supposed to organize its own "people's dialogue" was prevented from doing so, according to one of its officials. The security forces had "barricaded" the headquarters of the Grand Party where the meeting was to be held.

In addition, three former Prime Ministers - Mamadou Lamine Loum, Abdoul Mbaye and Aminata Touré - have published a letter addressed to Macky Sall, in which they call on the Head of State to clearly announce that he will not be a candidate in the next presidential election.

The publication of the letter is only now taking place because we had kept hope of a @Macky_Sall who had become aware of the risks it poses to our country. Let us hope that he can listen to the advice we have given him when he declares himself available for dialogue.

— Abdoul MBAYE (@AbdoulMBAYE2019) May 31, 2023

>> Read also: Senegal: launch of the national dialogue in a climate of political tensions

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