Part of the Senegalese opposition, civil society and citizens’ movements met on Wednesday, March 03, 2021, to create a new platform called «Standing for Democracy and the Rule of Law». A response to the arrest of Senegalese opponent Ousmane Sonko for disturbing public order.
Senegalese civil society, citizens’ movements and part of the opposition do not intend to let pass what they call the «autocratic excesses» of the regime of Macky Sall. Following the arrest of Pastef leader Ousmane Sonko, they created a new platform for the struggle for democracy and the rule of law. “Our country, Senegal, is going through some of the darkest moments in its political history. Our democracy is undermined, perverted to the point of caricature by Mr Macky Sall and his regime. Instead of building and consolidating the rule of law, Macky Sall gave himself all the rights, including the right to choose who should or should not oppose him and his government, to decide who among the voters can vote, decide who will be able to participate in the electoral competitions,” Dr Cheikh Tidiane Dièye denounced in a statement to the press.
“In these unsettling, uncertain and difficult times in our history, where underdevelopment, poverty, corruption, disease, nepotism and carelessness have ended and undermined the public resources and quality of life of Senegalese people, Macky Sall seeks to impose on us a facade unanimism and a pale copy of the rule of law, whose sole purpose is to atomize the opposition and thus remain eternally in power», he said, considering that the rule of law and the hopes of an entire nation are threatened by injustice, iniquity and the pursuit of citizens who dare to express an opinion and life choices different from the autocratic and clientelist life system that governs us. The Ousmane Sonko case is a clear and tenacious illustration of this. The sordid plot, hatched against this MP elected by the Senegalese people, who came third in the last presidential election, is further proof of Macky Sall’s willingness to kill any opposition in Senegal,” he added.
Aware of the absolute necessity of thwarting this gross political plot and the sordid aggression fomented against one of the leaders of the Senegalese opposition, Dr Sheikh Tidiane Dièye announces that they have decided to set up a framework of unity of actions bringing together opposition parties, including the parliamentary opposition, citizens’ movements, civil society organizations, etc. “The full-scale attack on Ousmane Sonko, prepared in the highest echelons of the Benno Bokk Yakaar coalition, with the guilty complicity of certain dismemberments of the State to orders as well as his arbitrary arrest this morning is totally illegal for disturbing the public order, are of an unheard of gravity and calls us all to the urgency of organizing, to federate and mobilize all resistance to face the dangerous autocratic excesses that, if not taken care of, could precipitate Senegal into instability and tyranny,” he said.
It has, according to him, become imperative to seal this covenant of commitment, an alliance of citizens, patriots, Republicans to constitute a shield around democracy and the rule of law and to fight for an end to plots, trials of intent, the policy of intimidation and the pursuit of opposition leaders and all justice-loving citizens. “We will no longer tolerate, one after the other, day after day, that the actors of the opposition as well as of the civil society are slandered, prosecuted, deprived of their electoral rights and sent to prison through a domesticated judicial system and under the orders of a power that has finished showing its despotism».
“For Senegal and the preservation of our democratic gains, we must walk together to put an end to this farce in order to change the culture and political practices that plague our country today and that are of a different age, to put in place the conditions for a real development for our country Senegal. With this appeal, we call on all actors of the opposition, civil society and citizens’ movements to come together around this declaration to fight together to restore the rule of law, justice and democracy in Senegal. Finally, we call on all Senegalese to join the various initiatives and activities of struggle that are already launched, including the protest marches scheduled for Friday, March 5, 2021. These marches will be held throughout Senegal and in the diaspora and we invite all Senegalese women and women,” he concluded.
The non-exhaustive list of signatories to the Covenant
hierno Bocoum of the AGIR movement;
Dr Babacar Diop of the Democratic Forces of Senegal (SDF);
Aliou Sané from the “Y a en assez” movement;
The Honourable Deputy Aïda Mbodj of the And Saxal Liggey Movement;
The Honourable Member of Parliament Déthié Fall;
The Honourable Member of Parliament Moustapha Guirassy;
The Honourable Member of Parliament Sheikh Bamba Dièye;
Bougane Guèye Dani of the Gueum Sa Bopp movement;
The Honourable Member of Parliament Ousmane Sonko de Pastef/Les Patriotes;
Guy Marius Sagna and members of Frapp/France Dégage,
The representatives of the Doyna multi-struggle fronts; The members of Nio Lank,
Dr Sheikh Tidiane Dièye of the Platform Avenir Senegaal bi nu begg,
Former Minister Aminata Lô Dieng