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Senegal's main opposition coalition loses one of its founding parties

Senegal's main opposition coalition loses one of its founding parties
Opposition leaders from left to right: Dethie Fall, Ousmane Sonko, Aida Mbodji et Khalifa Sall.   -  
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Less than 6 months before the presidential election, Senegal's main opposition coalition Yewwi Askan Wi is on the rocks.

The block formalized its breakaway with one of its founding parties on Thursday (Aug. 10).

Over a dozen political groups joined forces ahead of the 2022 local elections to form the coalition. Groups included Ousmane Sonko's PASTEF and Taxawu Senegal of former Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall.

On August 09, Yewwi Askan Wi accused Taxawu Sénégal of "betrayal", following a quarrel at a Dakar city council meeting where one of the coordinators of Pastef, lost his position as first deputy, according to the local press.

According to Yewwi, this "betrayal" justifies the "end of the partnership" between the two groups.

Taxawu Sénégal condemned the move citing a 'deceptive pretext' to oust him.

The party of Senegalese opposition figure Khalifa Sall, was rehabilitated on early August of his electoral rights by the National Assembly and declared candidate for the 2024 presidential election.

Tensions between the party and the coalition had been running high since Khalifa Sall agreed to take part in a contested National Dialogue in May to ease tensions on the eve of the rape trial of opponent Ousmane Sonko, another leader of the coalition, who had categorically refused to take part.

Since then, Sonko's political party PASTEF was dissolved.

Senegal's Interior Minister Antoine Diome, justifying his decision, cited "frequent" calls for "insurrectionary movements" by PASTEF which, according to Diome, resulted in numerous deaths in March 2021 and June 2023 and "acts of ransacking and looting of public and private property".

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