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HomeBreaking NewsSENEGAL: MACKY SALL BACKS DOWN UNDER HEAVY PUBLIC PRESSURE - OUSMANE SONKO

SENEGAL: MACKY SALL BACKS DOWN UNDER HEAVY PUBLIC PRESSURE – OUSMANE SONKO

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The Interview
The Interview © France 24

Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko gave an exclusive interview to France 24 from his home in Dakar. He believes that by giving up running for a third term, Macky Sall has only “abdicated in the face of popular” and international pressure. He claims to be “fully eligible”, and says he is convinced of being able to be elected president of Senegal in 2024, “from the first round”.

The Senegalese opposition leader and president of the party Pastef  Ousmane Sonko gave an exclusive interview to France  24, from his home in Dakar, where he has been assigned since his conviction in early June to two years in prison for “corruption of youth”.

“I am not under house arrest”, but arbitrarily detained, believes Ousmane Sonko, for whom no legal or administrative decision obliges him to stay at home.

In his speech to the Nation on Monday July 3, President Macky Sall put an end to a long suspense by renouncing to stand for a new term. For Ousmane Sonko, Macky Sall did not take this decision because he is a democrat, but because of pressure from his people, and international pressure.

“An outgoing president was congratulated by part of the world simply for having respected the Constitution of his country”, underlines Ousmane Sonko, regretting a  “infantilization of Africa”.

“Dictatorship”

Ousmane Sonko compares the Macky Sall years to a “dictatorship”. How to call a country where the president “recruits private militias and allows them to open fire on unarmed demonstrators  ?” Asks the opponent.

After the conviction of Ousmane Sonko,  Senegal went through  an outburst of violence in June that left several people dead .

“Until now, the Senegalese had not risen against the third term of Macky Sall, but against the persecution of an opponent called Ousmane Sonko”, says the president of the Pastef party.

The announcement by Macky Sall of his non-candidacy has also left the Senegalese “almost indifferent”, he adds.

Ousmane Sonko appears more threatened than ever by his conviction in a sex scandal. “I’m still fully eligible,” he said, however.

“Ready to Forgive”

The opponent assures France 24 that Macky Sall ”  told some that he will prevent his candidacy, come what may.” The violence of which he is the victim “has never been exercised before”, he adds.

Although he claims to have no official or unofficial contact with the president, he claims to be “ready to forgive”, and even to “forget”. He wishes Macky Sall to “finish this mandate in style” and to “leave in serenity”.

The majority of the 17  million Senegalese want his candidacy, he believes. And “if we go to the elections, I will be declared the winner in the first round”, concludes the president of Pastef.

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