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Senegal: who from the ruling party or the opposition won the legislative elections?

Macky Sall

After Sunday's legislative elections in Senegal, both sides claim to have won. A whole country is now waiting for the official results.

As long as they are not official, the results of the Senegalese legislative elections are the subject of much speculation. It must be said that the issue is important. “If Macky Sall loses the legislative elections, he will no longer speak of a third term”, warned Ousmane Sonko before the Senegalese moved to the polling stations. This Sunday, July 31 in Senegal also remained very calm. The post-election period gave way to some tensions.

And for good reason, twenty-four hours after the closing of the polls, the opposition and the ruling coalition are vying for victory. Aminata Touré, head of the list of the presidential coalition, Benno Bokk Yakaar (BBY), claimed to have "won 30 departments" out of the 46 in Senegal. Without forgetting the constituencies abroad. For the former Senegalese Prime Minister, “this undoubtedly gives us a majority in the National Assembly”. It remains to be determined whether this majority will be relative – in this case, alliances will be necessary, but not necessarily easy to create – or absolute.

On the opposition side, of which Sonko was the natural leader, the "prefabricated majority" of BBY will not pass. For Barthélémy Dias, of the Yewwi askan wi coalition, the announcement of the victory of the presidential coalition is only a "vulgar lie". According to him, “cohabitation is inevitable. You lost this election at the national level. We will not accept it. This forfeiture will not pass”.

A possible cohabitation?

This war of declarations suggests the worst: the official results will inevitably make one disappointed. But who will be the real loser in these legislative elections? Sonko didn't have much to lose. The opponent is especially waiting for the next presidential election, after his success in the municipal elections. He will necessarily welcome the results of the ballot, after the imbroglio which surrounded the cancellations of the opposition lists. It is on Macky Sall's side that all eyes are now turned: without an absolute majority, he may have to embark on a difficult cohabitation.

However, until today, the president was managing without a prime minister, after deleting this post. But now president of the African Union, Sall wanted to rely on a head of government. He had not necessarily imagined that it could come from the opposition.

If BBY's victory is announced, we imagine that Sonko and his allies will launch a new round of protests. After the latest violence that punctuated the latest demonstrations in Senegal, it is a new test facing President Sall, two years from an increasingly uncertain presidential election.

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