Tag Archives: sall

Not everyone pleased with Senegalese cabinet

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.

N’Dour, Kane headline new Senegalese cabinet

Newly elected Senegalese president Macky Sall has named his cabinet.

The headline appointment is popular singer Youssou N’Dour, who was one of the most vocal opponents of former president Abdoulaye Wade — when Sall emerged as the sole challenger to Wade in the second round of the presidential election, N’Dour and the entire spectrum of Wade opposition enthusiastically supported Sall.  N’Dour had attempted to run for president in the March vote, but was disqualified prior to the election. He will serve as minister of culture and tourism.

The cabinet contains just 25 appointees, down from the 40 in Wade’s prior cabinet.

Abdoul Mbaye — a former banker and technocrat with no party affiliation — will serve as Sall’s first prime minister.

Amadou Kane, a former banker with Senegal’s branch of BNP Paribas, previously head of the International Bank for Trade and Industry of Senegal and a former official with the West African Development Bank, will serve as finance minister.

Sall ally Alioune Badara Cissé will be the new foreign minister.

Sall sworn in as new Senegalese president

Just eight days after a second-round runoff in which Macky Sall (above, right) defeated incumbent Abdoulaye Wade by nearly a two-to-one margin, Sall was sworn in hours ago as Senegal’s new president.

The inauguration is the culmination of a sometimes tumultuous campaign that threatened to explode into a constitutional crisis — Wade had opted to run for a controversial third term, notwithstanding a constitutional ban (passed earlier by Wade himself) limiting the president to two terms.  Notwithstanding the fact that popular candidates were refused an opportunity to run and Senegalese police used force in putting down protests in advance of the first round of the vote (leading to up to six deaths), the peaceful transfer of power marks the second such transfer in 12 years and further strengthens Senegal’s democratic tradition — even as its neighboring Mali descends into post-coup confusion.

Notwithstanding the fact that Senegal’s opposition put all of its support behind Sall in the second round, Sall remains a creature of the Senegalese establishment and was Wade’s one-time right-hand man.  With a stagnant economy, high food and electricity prices and moderate corruption, Sall’s inauguration alone — however much a victory for democratic legitimacy — will not be enough to meet the opposition’s fairly high expectations.

Politically, Sall’s first challenge will be to secure victory in Senegal’s June 17 parliamentary elections — Wade’s Parti Démocratique Sénégalais won the 2007 legislative elections, taking 131 of 150 seats, after opposition candidates boycotted Wade’s efforts to undermine free and fair elections.

One question is whether the popular singer Youssou N’Dour (above, left) — who attempted to run for president, but was not permitted by Wade’s government — will serve in Sall’s administration, as minister of culture or otherwise.

Sall’s first interview with the international media is here.

AllAfrica coverage of Senegal’s future here.

 

Sall wins Senegalese presidency; Wade concedes defeat

Macky Sall has won Senegal’s presidential race, and incumbent Abdoulaye Wade has conceded defeat, paving the way for the second peaceful transfer of power in Senegal in 12 years.

In contrast to the tense — and sometimes violent — days leading up to the first round of the Senegalese vote, the days leading up to the runoff were relatively peaceful as opposition to Wade coalesced around Sall, his former prime minister.

As votes came in Sunday, it became clear that Wade would not muster enough support to win — Wade won the first round with 34.8%, but it appeared that Sall would improve on his second-place 26.6% by consolidating virtually all of the non-Wade voters in the runoff.

A telling headline in Senegal’s Dakar-based Le Quotidien simply proclaimed, “Goodbye Wade!” Continue reading Sall wins Senegalese presidency; Wade concedes defeat

A big weekend for world politics

It’s a busy weekend for world politics!

Tomorrow (March 24) is a big day for anglosphere politics:

  • Canada’s New Democratic Party holds its leadership election to replace the late Jack Layton, who led the NDP in 2011 to defeat the Liberal Party to become Canada’s Official Opposition.
  • The Australian state of Queensland holds elections, where longtime Labor Party domination (since 1996) will likely come to an end in a key test for both former Labor prime minister (and Queensland native) Kevin Rudd and Labor current prime minister Julie Gillard in the wake of their Labor Party leadership showdown.

On Sunday (March 25), two more elections of note:

  • Senegal goes to the polls in a runoff in the presidential election, where former prime minister seems poised to overtake his one-time mentor, incumbent president Abdoulaye Wade.  Read Suffragio’s coverage of the election, including the leadup to the first round, here.
  • The 1,200-member Elections Committee meets to choose Hong Kong’s new chief executive, which has turned into a fight between Beijing favorite Leung Chun-ying and tycoon developer favorite Henry Tang (the scandal-plagued former Beijing favorite). Read Suffragio’s coverage here.

Sall: ‘really he is a Wade boy’

The BBC today runs a very sharp profile of Macky Sall, who seems likely to defeat incumbent Abdoulaye Wade to become Senegal’s next president. 

Sall once served as Wade’s prime minister and protégé before their political break in 2007.  After finishing second in the first round of the Senegalese election to Wade last month, the opposition has embraced Sall in order to deny Wade a constitutionally dubious third term.

The profile echoes some of the themes I highlighted yesterday, however, that Sall’s election represents continuity in the West African nation, just the kind of continuity that won’t trigger a constitutional crisis:

“Nobody can dismiss Mr Sall from what this [Mr Wade’s] party has brought in negative terms to the social infrastructure of this country, in terms of destroying the democratic fabric and allowing corruption to develop exponentially,” Senegalese writer and journalist, Adama Gaye, told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme.

“I would not be surprised if people within the liberal party of Abdoulaye Wade join Macky Sall if he wins – and ultimately he will end up running a country with his method,” he said.

“I don’t see him as being different from Abdoulaye Wade – really he is a Wade boy.”

After a decade of economic stagnancy, however, the opposition may find that its support of Sall somewhat unfulfilling if his administration turns out to be Wade-without-Wade.

Senegal turns to runoff vote

With less than one week to go until Senegal’s presidential runoff, the campaign’s narrative since the end of the first round has consistently been one of the opposition mobilizing behind the candidacy of former prime minister Macky Sall and against current president Abdoulaye Wade.

Wade won the first round of the election on February 26 with 34.8% of the vote to Sall’s 26.6%.

In the meanwhile, all 12 of the defeated candidates have endorsed Sall, including former prime minister Moustapha Niasse, who finished in third place, Parti Socialiste candidate Ousamne Tanor Dieng, who finished in fourth place and Idrissa Seck, also a former prime minister, who finished in fifth place. Sall, together with the 12 former candidates, joined for a rally last Sunday in Obelisk Square in Dakar, the site of several violent anti-Wade protests in advance of the first round vote.  Sall and the former candidates have formed the makeshift Alliance of Forces for Change in advance of Sunday’s runoff.

Prominent — and popular — Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour, who was refused a spot on the ballot in advance of the first round, has endorsed Sall as well.  And so has the M23 movement, by and large — the loose coalition that came together to oppose Wade’s arguably unconstitutional run for a third term.  Although the M23 movement did not endorse any first-round candidate, it has mobilized behind Sall as the anti-Wade candidate.

The tense and sometimes violent protests leading up the the first round have now largely replaced by a triumphant opposition confident of victory.  Sall is popular in both Dakar and the countryside, and, with so much of the opposition to Wade lining up behind Sall, it seems more likely than not that Sall will win the runoff.  Continue reading Senegal turns to runoff vote