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Sallah Warns of International Isolation After Senegal Dissolves PASTEF

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Hon. Halifa Sallah, Secretary General, PDOIS

By Landing Ceesay 

Halifa Sallah, the leader of the People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), has warned that Senegal could soon become isolated due to President Macky Sall’s decision to dissolve the opposition party PASTEF.

“Many people have resorted to the back way. And you can see the number of people that are being sent back by Europe, which is in fact in greater crisis now because of Ukraine. So, if President Macky Sall decides to ban a political party, he is giving justification for every young person who supports that party to seek political asylum. And as they move towards Europe for that asylum, Europe is likely going to be put in a very critical situation to say that well, how can we host all these you are not serious and of course, he is going to have serious antagonism with those powers.  

“So, essentially then, President Macky Sall is heading towards real international isolation. So, if he has advisers, they will advise him properly that this decision is not in the interest of Senegal, is not in the interest of his party, is not even in his own interest. So, it should be reversed as quickly as possible, not to talk about the turmoil it is creating. I am just emphasizing that internationally, Senegal will become very isolated. Because it is not normal anymore in any Republic to ban political parties,” Hon. Sallah said. 

Hon. Sallah made these remarks at a press conference organized by his party on Thursday. He told the media that a government should not take such an action in any democratic dispensation, including the current political dispensation in Senegal.

Hon. Sallah believes that President Macky Sall’s decision to ban PASTEF, a political party in Senegal, is not in the best interest of his party or the people of Senegal.

“We (PDOIS) strongly recommend that it reversed, and we strongly recommend that responsible governments and international organizations act now to step in. Because sometimes you take decisions, and you are no longer in control, and you need control,” he said.  

The Veteran Politician told the media that it was their belief that when President Macky Sall decided to announce that he will respect the two terms, It created an environment of tranquillity, and the tension was diffused at that material time. He said that was the time negotiation should have continued.

Sallah said that any person, government, or international organization with good intentions should have continued to monitor Senegal and the potential for explosive contradictions. However, he believes that this was not done properly.

“And now you have heard the situation where extreme actions have been taken, the banning of the political party and arresting of its representatives. We know the implication of that and as a media, we want you to focus on the implications, not just the condemnation but the implication.  

“We are cautioned and advised that in Senegal, let them move away from combative politics. Let them move towards competitive politics. Let them sit down and reconcile and then leave everyone to participate and the Senegalese people will decide who will be their representative. That was our position and that is still our position,” Hon. Sallah said.   

A few days ago, the Senegalese government released a communiqué announcing the dissolution of PASTEF, an opposition political party whose leader is Ousmane Sonko.  

The Senegalese government alleged that PASTE, through its leaders and its authorities, has frequently called its supporters to insurrectionary movements, which has had serious consequences, including many losses of human life, many injuries, as well as acts of looting and plunder of public and private property. 

The Senegalese government said the assets of the PASTEF will be liquidated in accordance with the legal and regulatory provisions in force.

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