Senegal’s former prime minister Aminata Toure says she will keep fighting against a possible third term for her former boss, President Macky Sall, who remains silent on his intentions regarding the 2024 presidential election.
Toure was stripped of her seat in parliament this week — a move she says is based solely on her decision to oppose a potential candidacy by President Sall.
“I believe President Macky Sall should not run for a third term. We both campaigned for the 2016 constitution which clearly says that no one can run for more than two consecutive terms,” Toure told VOA French to Africa in an interview this week.
The president’s supporters say the 2016 constitution allows him to run again, while his critics say it does not. In removing Toure from parliament, Senegal’s ruling coalition cited her decision to leave the party, under which she was elected. Toure told VOA that her former colleagues violated article 60 of the constitution by not notifying her in advance and not organizing a hearing.
“I heard it from the radio,” she said, calling the decision illegal.
Toure has been highly critical of the ruling party since her bid to lead the parliament failed in September, and she has accused President Sall of failing to support her. Toure, who has announced her candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, says President Sall is attempting to keep his main opponents from running.
Opposition member Ousmane Sonko, who also has announced his candidacy for the election, is facing rape charges, and a judge has ruled that he should stand trial. Sonko denied the accusations and told VOA French-to-Africa Monday that the charges are a political conspiracy aimed at keeping him from running.
“Macky Sall must come to his senses,” he told VOA.
The president has not said publicly whether he will run again or not. His supporters say Sonko’s legal troubles are a private matter and the government has nothing to do with it.
Many political observers say a third run for President Sall could rock a country that has been considered a beacon of democracy and stability in a West African region plagued by coups and militant attacks.