Senegal is eagerly waiting for the final decision of President Macky Sall whose second and final term in office ends in less than two years.
Political pundits in the west african country argue that no head of state in Senegal has ever voluntarily ended his reign at the end of his second term. Will Macky Sall mark history by complying with this constitutional provision adopted in 2001?
Will he comply with the provisions of article 27, which stipulate that “no one may exercise more than two consecutive [presidential] terms”. “I will answer this question after the legislative elections”, President Macky Sall said during an interview.
The 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 seek 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 of legislative elections in July?
A clear victory. It is above all a question of consistency with the choices of the Senegalese people, who re-elected me.
We have put in place an extremely demanding economic and social programme, the Plan for an Emerging Senegal, which has produced undeniable results in every respect.
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 the rising prices of energy, food, etc. This will cost the state nearly 657 billion CFA francs, or nearly 1 billion euros in household support for 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 it doesn’t waste time. Does the opposition want a cohabitation? You know very well that, even in developed countries, this is rarely successful. I cannot imagine such a scenario in Senegal.
We are under a presidential regime: we elect a president and then give him a majority to govern. The transition from a seven-year term to a five-year one has changed the order of things, but it does not change anything in substance: Senegal, like Africa, needs stability.
Former President Abdoulaye Wade blamed you for jailing his son Karim. Later you named Diamniadio Olympic Stadium after him. Does this mean you’ve buried the hatchet?
I have no problem with him. I went up against him, after 18 or 19 years of mentorship, because we had a disagreement.
That happens in politics. I beat him in the presidential elections. He became my opponent, and I naturally accepted that. Today, all 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 honour his political commitment and his work at the head of Senegal, giving his name to a temple of sport and youth was a good idea. I did what I had to do. Now the rest is just politics.
Additional reporting from The Africa Report