Macky Sall: The unwanted president who refuses to leave power

Photo credit: APS

When the Constitutional Council rejected Macky Sall’s decree and the National Assembly’s law postponing the presidential elections to December 15 and extending Macky Sally’s mandate, most Senegalese people breathed a sigh of relief.

While many had lost faith in the Constitutional Council for its contestable decisions since Macky Sall was elected, last week’s stand gave Senegalese people hope that a semblance of justice was still possible. For once, the institution said what the law was and stood for justice and the people.

But Coumba, a member of the Senegalese diaspora, wasn’t excited. “This is too early to cry victory. Let’s wait and see when a new date is set.”

The Constitutional Council had also ordered elections to be held as soon as possible.

A week later, Macky Sall, who wanted to run for a third term, has yet to choose a date for the presidential elections, while Senegalese citizens and the 18 candidates can’t wait to turn the page of one of the saddest chapters of the country’s history.

They want change. The one that would center governance around people’s needs with leaders focused on serving the people and not lining their pockets.

Politics in Senegal has been, these past decades, a fast track to wealth accumulation, with many ministers and other government officials, including President Macky Sall himself, becoming BILLIONAIRES while serving one of the POOREST countries in the world.

The last big scandal of Macky Sall’s government was the embezzlement of BILLIONS of COVID MONEY supposed to help the people. To this day, Senegalese citizens who were ordered to stay home haven’t received a dime during the excruciating long pandemic months, and those who stole the people’s money were never held accountable.

Macky Sall’s government likes to pride itself on costly infrastructure projects like the Dakar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or the Train Express Regional (TER), while the high unemployment rate and cost of living, the country’s outdated health care and education systems have left the Senegalese people frustrated.

The government’s flagrant disregard for them and their systematic complicity with foreign nations like France to steal the country’s resources explain their love for the prominent opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko, who was jailed since July 2023 and unjustly excluded from the presidential elections.

Sources say Macky Sall is trying to negotiate his exit strategy with Ousmane Sonko, whose candidate is scheduled to win the next elections, but Sonko is not a “dealer.” In the Senegalese jargon, a dealer is a politician who would get to power on the back of the people.

Rumors of amnesty had planned in the air for a couple of days, but opposition members, political detainees, and the majority rejected the move they saw as a way to avoid accountability for crimes committed during Macky Sall’s 12 years of tenure. The more than 60 citizens killed since 2021, the money embezzled by the government, the contracts signed with foreign corporations, and the illegal detention of citizens, including opposition leaders, are as many reasons why Macky Sall does not want to leave.

In 2011, when Abdoulaye Wade wanted to send then-opposition member Macky Sall to jail, he sped to the holy city of Touba to seek protection from religious leaders, claiming that he would never make it in jail.

The same Macky Sall is responsible for the killing of more than 60 of his citizens and the unjust detention of many more. Now, Sall is holding on to power in the hope that all the sins committed against the Senegalese people during his tenure will miraculously disappear so he and his family can continue to live their lavish lifestyle at the people’s dime as if nothing ever happened.

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