Serigne Mbaye Thiam would certainly have preferred that the ministry he has led since April 2019 be housed in Diamniadio’s other ministerial sphere, the one that bears the name of the man who was his mentor: Ousmane Tanor Dieng, emblematic leader of the Socialist Party (PS ). For this man, who currently holds the position of National Secretary charged elections within the party but dreams of taking the lead, the image would have been worth its weight in gold. “I have a very great government experience that I want to make available to my party and my comrades if they trust me”, explains bluntly the Minister of Water and Sanitation, the only member of the government who has never left since the first election of Macky Sall in February 2012.
While the PS is preparing to hold its assizes in early November (the first for more than eight years), it has never found itself in such an uncomfortable position. Since the disappearance of Ousmane Tanor Dieng in July 2019, the party was mired in a deep internal crisis. It has never been able to renew its decision-making bodies, still temporarily headed by Aminata Mbengue Ndiaye, the president of the High Council of Territorial Collectivities (HCCT) whose legitimacy is under severe test. In fact, like Benno Bokk Yakaar (BBY, the ruling coalition), the PS suffered several setbacks during the local elections in January and then the legislative ones in July. It may well be the second political force in the presidential majority, but its electoral weight has been considerably reduced. It even lost some of its key strongholds, dont Dakar.
Senegal: the Socialist Party affected but not sunk