GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - JUNE 08: Senegalese President Macky Sall attends the Outreach program on the second day of the summit of G7 nations at Schloss Elmau on June 8, 2015 near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. In the course of the two-day summit G7 leaders are scheduled to discuss global economic and security issues, as well as pressing global health-related issues, including antibiotics-resistant bacteria and Ebola. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)


On Tuesday, July 4, Senegalese woke up to the announcement that their president, Macky Sall, would not be running for reelection next year.

Monday night (July 3) he addressed the country, putting an end to months of nervous waiting. This Dakar local had no complaints.

“Senegalese in general, The President of the Republic gave a speech yesterday, and we were able to listen in. Well, he won in the end,” Cheikh Oumar Sow, an officer in charge of logistics, remarked.

“As you may have heard, Senegal has been having a rough go of it as of late. And, as he always does, President Macky Sall has taken a prudent step to rescue Senegal from its current predicament.

Some local newspapers’ splash pages praised the noble choice. Eleven years have passed during this leader’s reign.

There is concern that Sall’s announcement of his political future will lead to further unrest in the West African country.

“Violence had indeed been expected, because the youth of Senegal have become very alert and demanding,” said Hassane Drabo, a consultant for the company.

They want a say in running the country like everyone else. The President’s address brought much-needed relief. Yet the fact remains that a collective shift in attention is required if Senegal is to ascend the tiers of modern democracy.

Terrorism concerns
On the eve of Sall’s national address, his most vocal opponent, Ousmane Sonko, called for people to “come out en masse” in opposition to the president.

Last month, violent clashes broke out between supporters of Sonko and the security forces, resulting in the deaths of at least 16 people.

Tensions had been stoked by Sall’s possible use of a constitutional amendment to argue that he could serve more than two terms as president. On Monday, the president reiterated his position that he could have legally run for office.

Some in Senegal are hoping that by setting an example, he will inspire others to not run.

Macky Sall has taken care of the problem. Any future president, according to artist King Toundey, will know full well that he is limited to two terms before he must step down.

If Macky Sall had taken the opposite course of action, for instance, a new president would have come, altered the constitution, and done everything in his power to stay in office. However, that is behind us now. There will be no more issues with term limits. The problem has been solved, without a doubt.

Macky Sall’s supporters are curious about who will appear on the party’s ballot to replace Sall.

His detractors warn that he should not follow the example of regional leaders like Côte d’Ivoire’s Alassane Ouattara, who made a similar promise but later ran for a third, controversial term.


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