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A deputy tearing another man’s wig in the middle of an exchange of blows; Barthélémy Dias, mayor of Dakar and candidate for the roost, who brutally seizes the microphone of a speaker in a concert of insults; Guy Marius Sagna, another opponent known for his outbursts, who tries to seize the ballot box by receiving the votes for the election of the President of the National Assembly, before being grabbed by a squadron of gendarmerie deployed inside the hemicycle itself … The return to parliament in Senegal on Monday 12 September most likely set the tone for the next eighteen months while waiting for Macky Sall and his government.
During his first ten years of presidency, the Head of State had been able to lead without great pressure, with an overwhelming majority in the National Assembly (124 of the 165 seats of the previous one), composed for the most part by all those who have progressively gathered him since his election in 2012. The legislative elections of July 31 deprived him of this ease and if the opposition failed to impose the hoped-for coexistence, the opening day of this new legislature hinted at the looming minefield before that.
The executive will no longer have the same leeway to vote its bills or waive an opponent’s immunity
To obtain an absolute majority and elect its candidate to the perch, Benno Bokk Yakaar (BBY), the presidential movement, which now has only 82 deputies, was able to count on the support of an independent deputy, Pape Diop, and on the divisions of opposition inter-coalition, Yewwi Askan Wi / Wallu Senegal, who presented three candidates to permanently boycott the vote. However, it now seems obvious that the executive will no longer have the same leeway to vote on its bills, lift an opponent’s immunity – as was the case for former Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sall in 2017 and Ousmane. Sonko, the rising opposition figure, in 2021 – or avoid parliamentary investigations.
“There is a real risk of paralysis”
“The chaos of this back to school was foreseeable after the tensions observed during the last elections. The first challenge for power now is to remove the opposition from the orders of the Assembly, because there is a real risk of paralysis until the end of Macky Sall’s term, while the vote on organic laws requires a majority of three-fifths “points to a foreign observer on the spot.
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