AFRICA/SENEGAL - The campaign has started: the opposition is divided and concerns about the stability of the Country

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dakar (Agenzia Fides) - "The election campaign began last Sunday in a minor tone and there were no major clashes" say Church sources to Fides from Dakar, Senegal's capital, where on February 5 the campaign for the presidential elections officially started, preceded by violence linked to the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the outgoing president, Abdoulaye Wade, to compete for a third term (see Fides 02/02/2012).
"At the election campaign candidates participate but do not accept the candidacy of President Wade, and here ambiguous scenarios open, because they seem to reserve the card of not recognizing a possible re-election of the President" underline our sources. "It is a possibility that worries European Union governments, which is working so that the Senegalese elections are successful. Thanks to the help from Europe over a thousand local election observers have been trained, voter lists have been checked and the EU will also send a mission of observers during the elections. It is understood that in these elections the governance of the country is at stake".
"It is still a better attitude compared to the hardliners of the Movement M23 that instead wants to boycott the elections. The opposition in any case appears to be divided. So far the only figure that is emerging is that of Macky Sall, former Prime Minister and former President of Parliament, expelled from Wade’s party due to contrasts with the President’s son. Macky Sall focuses on long-term reconciliation with the old party affiliation and aims at becoming the leader by succeeding Wade "(now 85).
As far as the election scenarios are concerned, our sources add: "If the opposition does not unite, it is expected that Wade will be re-elected, because the latter can count on a core of 30% of the electorate. Individual candidates of the opposition can claim up to 15%. Unless there are two credible candidates: one for the Liberals and the other for the Socialists. But this seems very unlikely, especially in the first round. Should there be a second round, then one will see if the opposition can offer a credible challenger". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 07/02/2012)