Senegalese President Macky Sall today launches a national dialogue with the opposition. But the latter is divided and several opponents have decided to boycott the initiative.
Throughout the African continent, the national dialogues initiated by the powers in place experience many and varied outcomes. In Chad, inclusive national dialogue did not quite live up to expectations. In Central, the opposition has kept asking the president for more, while in Gabon, Ali Bongo has managed the feat of carving out a tailor-made constitution without offending opponents.
It is difficult to know what will be said during the Senegalese national dialogue. The only certainty: it will be difficult, if not impossible, for President Macky Sall to reconcile power and opposition. Because Ousmane Sonko has been, for a few days even more, determined to go to the confrontation.
However, this Wednesday does indeed begin the start of this national dialogue. In the afternoon, the presidential palace will host the official launch ceremony, 24 hours late. Certainly because of the events related to the "accompaniment" of Sonko.
Events that would almost put this national dialogue in the background, even if, on the government side, it is assured that “dialogue is a tradition in Senegal” and that “all questions will be discussed”.
Without Sonko or Aminata Touré
As for each operation of this kind in Africa, a tiny part of the opposition will take part in the presidential initiative. But surprisingly, the Taxawu Senegal party of Khalifa Sall has announced its participation. If he promises a presence "without compromise on the fights fought in the opposition", it is a first victory for Macky Sall. But the party has an idea in mind: to challenge a possible "unconstitutional and illegitimate third candidacy of the president".
In fact, this will be the main question of the national dialogue. The opposition awaits answers as to the ambitions of Macky Sall. She also asks for explanations concerning the ineligibility pronounced against certain opponents, including Khalifa Sall, Karim Wade and, of course, Ousmane Sonko. In addition to the question of the third mandate, it will also be a question of a modification of the electoral code, which must allow the latter to be candidates.
We knew that Ousmane Sonko would refuse to dialogue. And he won't be the only one. Macky Sall's ex-ally, Aminata Touré, also decided to boycott the ceremony, as did Déthié Fall. A first failure for this consultation which therefore promises to be unsuccessful. The opponents have also decided to launch a "counter-dialogue" with the people.