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the presidential camp loses the absolute majority, according to the provisional official results

The presidential camp lost the absolute majority in the National Assembly, but it remains in the lead by a very narrow lead, according to the provisional official results of the legislative elections of July 31 in Senegal, proclaimed Thursday August 4.

It is the first time since the independence of this West African country in 1960 that the party in power has lost an absolute majority and that it will have to rely on other forces in Parliament to make pass its laws.

The coalition of the president, Macky Sall, goes from 125 deputies in 2017 to 82, out of the 165 in the Assembly, according to the provisional official results of the national commission of census of the votes (CNRV) published Thursday.

Read also: Legislative elections in Senegal: inflation, a central subject

Dynamics driven by the January local elections

The opposition confirms the momentum driven by the local elections in January, particularly in some large cities, and wins 80 MP seats in total: 56 for the Yewwi Askan Wi coalition (“liberate the people” in Wolof) and 24 for that of Wallu Senegal (“save Senegal” in Wolof), who have formed an alliance for the legislative elections. Three other deputies come from the ranks of three small coalitions of parties.

The final figures must be published by the Constitutional Council within five days if there is no appeal. These results could convince the President of the Republic, disavowed by the ballot box, to give up the project which is lent to him to represent himself in the presidential election of 2024, say experts and observers.

Read the report: Article reserved for our subscribers In Senegal, legislative elections open political hostilities

Macky Sall, elected in 2012 for seven years and re-elected in 2019 for five years, remains unclear about his intentions. He promised he would appoint a prime minister – a post he cut in 2019 and then reinstated in December 2021 – from the party that won the election.

Accusations of “ballot stuffing” and “massive fraud”

In a polling station in Pikine, in the suburbs of Dakar, on July 31, 2022.

After the vote, the figures coming from the departmental vote count commissions showed a very tight ballot and both sides claimed victory. Yewwi Askan Wi, the main opposition coalition formed around Ousmane Sonko, who came third in the 2019 presidential election, joined forces for the elections with the Wallu Senegal coalition, led by ex-president Abdoulaye Wade, elected deputy at the age of 96.

“We reject these results”, reacted Déthié Fall, one of the leaders of this alliance after the official proclamation. A little earlier in the day, he had seized the electoral commission to ask him “the right to check the minutes [de bureaux de vote] in order to make its observations and possible complaints within the legal deadlines”which he said he was denied. “The Yewwi Askan Wi coalition did not sign the CNRV minutes because we cannot accept this refusal”he said, adding that if she had had access to all the documents “we were still going to see irregularities which were going to affect their vote and allow us to recover the two deputies that they took from us unduly”.

Ms. Aïda Mbodj, another opposition leader, had spoken the day before about “ballot stuffing” and of “prefabricated and unsigned minutes that they (power) created themselves” in localities in northern Senegal including Matam, Podor, Ranérou and Kanel, strongholds of President Sall.

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“We are not going to accept a confiscation of the victory. It is a massive fraud enterprise orchestrated by politicians with certainly the complicity of the administration” territorial, added Mr. Sonko. The President, Macky Sall, for his part, welcomed the smooth running of the elections “in calm, serenity and transparency, throughout the national territory”at the end of the Council of Ministers, Wednesday.

Violent demonstrations during the pre-campaign

The vote took place on Sunday without major incident, with a participation rate of 46.64% according to the CNRV. International observers from the Economic Community of West African States and the Collective of Civil Society Organizations for the Elections noted the peaceful and transparent nature of the ballot.

The pre-campaign had been marked by violent demonstrations which had caused at least three deaths due to the invalidation, by the Constitutional Council, of the holders of the national list of the coalition led by Mr. Sonko, forced to give up participating in the elections. .

“The ruling coalition is on its last legs. The high cost of food, the increase in the price of water, the authoritarian practices around the demonstrations followed by deaths “ explain this sanction vote against the president, political analyst Maurice Soudieck Dione told Agence France-Presse.

“The question of the third term was finally settled by the Senegalese people on election day. With this Parliament, Macky Sall no longer has the possibility of modifying the Constitution, which authorizes the renewal of the mandate of the President only once”also recalled the constitutionalist Ngouda Mboup.

Read also Legislative elections in Senegal: the opposition wants to “impose cohabitation” on President Macky Sall

The World with AFP

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