What would have been the outcome of the election of the President of the National Assembly if the opposition had not boycotted it after creating chaos and trying to block the vote? The answer is a truism for Déthié Faye. “She would have been ridiculed”, severely tackles this former member of Yewwi Askan Wi (YAW), who adds: “It is certainly because they were aware of the humiliation which would have been theirs that they indulged in such scenes. »
Senegal: how Macky Sall imposed Amadou Mame Diop at his majority
On September 12, as Aida Sow Diawara, the session president, was preparing to open the ballot, several opposition deputies lingered over questions of form. The rules of procedure of the Parliament provide for only two colors of ballot – blue and white – for two candidates running. But this time, they are four, and the National Assembly finds itself faced with a legal vacuum. Amadou Mame Diop, presented by the majority, must cross swords with three names from the opposition: Barthélemy Dias, the mayor of Dakar, Ahmed Aïdara, city councilor of Guédiawaye, and Mamadou Lamine Thiam, proposed by Wallu Senegal, the other opposition coalition built around the Senegalese Socialist Party (PDS), Abdoulaye Wade .
An unprecedented scenario, which the texts do not provide for. The tone rises, the session degenerates, gendarmes invest the hemicycle. Amadou Mame Diop is elected with all 83 votes of the presidential majority. The opposition which, with its 80 seats, had never been so close to victory, fails at the foot of the perch. How could she have squandered her chances like this?
Elements of response are to be found in the divisions of YAW. Until the eve of the return to parliament, it was still shared between the candidacies of Barthélémy Dias and Ahmed Aidara. The choice for the first, supported by Khalifa Sall, was made off the cuff, on the day of the vote, via an unsigned press release. “Barthélémy Dias was appointed without the approval of the majority of YAW members. It was Khalifa Sall and his sidekick Ousmane Sonko who imposed it”, plague Djibril Diop, member of the conference of leaders and supporter of Ahmed Aïdara.
The cacophony that prevailed within the decision-making body of the opposition coalition revealed deep differences. It has been several months since the electoral machine that YAW has been in the last two elections has been jammed. Twenty parties and member movements of the coalition have put their activities on hold. Since June, they no longer pay their dues. Several political leaders have left their posts in YAW. This is the case of Cheikh Bamba Dièye, who was at the head of the mediation and arbitration commission, or of the former deputy Moustapha Guirassy, who stepped down from his position as head of the commission. communication.
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Since then, YAW has been animated by only a handful of personalities whose parties have managed to obtain seats in the National Assembly. These formations are accused internally of having taken control of the coalition and of having violated its texts. Two men concentrate most of the criticism. “Ousmane Sonko and Khalifa Sall have monopolized the political entity. They decide alone, without consulting with the other members of the coalition”, denounces Djibril Diop. “These personalities have carved out the lion’s share during the nominations for the legislative elections by highlighting the militants of their own parties to the detriment of the leaders of the other formations”, adds Mamadou Lamine Thiam (namesake of the deputy of Wallu), director of cabinet of Ahmed Aidara, who points to the large number of MP seats returned to Pastef (25), to Taxawu Senegal (14), but also to the Unity and Rally Party (PUR, 11).
Slingshots within YAW are nothing new. In May, just after the nominations, a dozen of its executives had spread in the press, considering themselves disadvantaged on the lists. ” Me I had been invested in 38th place on the national list. I felt that I deserved better. But I stayed because the most important thing was to get Macky Sall moving, ”explains Mamadou Lamine Thiam. But others slammed the door to join Benno Bokk Yakaar (BBY, in power), like Serigne Mansour Sy Djamil.
If tongues are loosened today, it is because several officials believe they have not been heard. “We raised the debate internally and called for a meeting with all the leaders of the coalition. It never took place, ”says Ahmed Aïdara’s chief of staff.
Born in September 2021, YAW claimed to put its various members on an equal footing, its charter prioritizing consensus or, failing that, majority voting as the mode of decision-making. Everything went without a major hitch until the local elections on January 23, during which the coalition made a historic breakthrough by winning the main towns.
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If the capital is won by Taxawu Senegal, the party of Khalifa Sall, the cities of Ziguinchor or Thiès are dominated by the Pastef of Ousmane Sonko. Results that clarify the representativeness of each of YAW’s components. Now aware of their weight, the two main parties intend to benefit from a right of first refusal in the run-up to the legislative elections. “From that point on, we found that decisions were already made before the leadership conference meetings. They were then imposed on the other members. There really were no debates. We were just serving as foils, ”ruminates Déthié Faye, president of the Convergence for Democracy and the Republic (CDR).
The CDR will be one of the first formations to withdraw from the coalition, in April, after several “major disagreements”, according to Déthié Faye. Since then, those who feel aggrieved have highlighted the risk of YAW breaking up by the 2024 presidential election. the authorities of the coalition, including the presidency, exercised by Khalifa Sall”.
“Yewwi Askan Wi does not belong to Ousmane Sonko or Khalifa Sall. They criticize Macky Sall’s regime for its lack of democracy, but impose their diktat within YAW. The coalition belongs to the people and they must be held to account,” stormed Djibril Diop. Contacted by Young Africa, neither Ibrahima Ndiaye, Khalifa Sall’s communications adviser, nor Cheikh Tidiane Youm (PUR), nor Déthié Fall, the coalition’s national representative, responded. The Pastef, for its part, did not wish react.