Amid the plaudits for running a free and (not wholly, but mostly) fair election, Senegal has now turned to the inauguration of its new president, Macky Sall, and the naming of his new cabinet.
While most of the selections have been met with general approval — including the naming of popular singer Youssou N’Dour as minister of culture and tourism.
But in declaring that he would reduce the number of cabinet members from 40 to 25, Sall was bound to anger some of the members of the multi-party coalition that bound together to support him in the second round of the presidential election, and it seems like that’s already happening:
President Sall’s party took the lion’s share and also locked up the key portfolios of foreign affairs, internal affairs, defence and finance. In addition, the party took up ministries other strategic ministries like justice, youth and communications.
Almost immediately, all of the other parties have been unleashing their pent up anger over the distribution of the ministerial posts.
Former premier Moustapha Niasse’s Alliance de Forces du Progrès (AFP), managed to obtain the second highest number ministerial slots – four.
So much for a honeymoon.
One of the key challenges of Sall’s young administration will be to meet the expectations of a coalition whose sole aim was to oust then-incumbent Abdoulaye Wade, and who expect Sall to address more effectively the burden of high fuel and gas prices and corruption. Sall, whose entire political career was spent as Wade’s protegé until 2008, however, remains much more tied to the existing Senegalese political elite than many of the outsiders who supported his campaign.