Having declared that he will serve only two terms President Macky Sall is positioned to be the first president of Senegal who would operationalise the two term limit if he sticks to his decision. The declaration earned him praises from all corners of the globe. However, the banning of a major opposition party whose presidential candidate emerged third position in the last presidential election and is now a mayor and a member of the national assembly of Senegal, is incomprehensible to most of those who sang praises to him for promising to bow down when his time is up.
In today’s world, banning political parties by administrative decision would constitute the usurpation of the powers of the courts to be a prosecutor, judge and jury at the same time. That is a manifestation of the absolutism of power and is not akin to democracy in any way.
He will tarnish his democracy if his government fails to remove the ban and allow due process of law to take its course. Prosecutors are meant to press charges against an accused person. Presumption of innocence provides protection from punishment until trial by independent and impartial judges.
The world is informed that Ousmane Sonko is under intensive care in a Senegalese hospital and has lost consciousness. Does that mean that he is in a state of coma? Time will tell. Time is running out for the Senegalese government. It is racing against time. The time to act is now. It should revoke its ban on PASTEF, return all its properties and release Ousmane Sonko on bail and allow due process of law to proceed without political interference. This is verdict of common sense and it should be heeded if President Macky Sall wants to leave a legacy that of integrity of his person, party and government.