32. Senegal (1960-present)

 

Crisis Phase (August 20, 1960-May 13, 1963):  On August 20, 1960, Senegal formally achieved its independence when the National Assembly of Senegal proclaimed the country’s independence and withdrawal from the Mali Federation (which had consisted of Mali and Senegal).  In order to deal with the consequences of withdrawing from the federation, Prime Minister Mamadou Dia proclaimed a state of emergency on August 21, 1960.  On August 25, 1960, the National Assembly adopted a constitution creating a mixed parliamentary-presidential system in Senegal.  The Republic of Senegal was formally proclaimed on September 5, 1960, with Léopold Sédar Senghor as president (head of state) and Mamadou Moustapha Dia as prime minister (president of the 15-member Council of Ministers).  Senegal, a former colony of France, agreed to allow France to maintain several military bases in the country.  Prime Minister Dia, who also served as Minister of Defense, shared authority over the Senegalese military with President Senghor.

Prime Minister Dia used his emergency powers to begin implementation of “radical” agricultural reforms, including nationalization of peanut production, which were opposed by President Senghor and other conservatives.  In a speech given on December 8, 1962, Prime Minister Dia advocated for “revolutionary rejection of old structures” and the elimination of the colonial economic system in Senegal.  The conservative faction of the ruling Senegalese Progressive Union (Union Progressiste Senegalaise – UPS), including 40 or more members of the 80-member National Assembly, signed a motion of censure against Prime Minister Mamadou Dia.  On December 17, 1962, the 80-member National Assembly planned to meet in special session to vote on the motion of censure, but Prime Minister Dia indicated that a motion of censure was illegal during a state of emergency.  Using his emergency powers, Prime Minister Dia ordered military and civilian policemen to take control of and remove National Assembly deputies from the building.  Four members of the National Assembly, including Magatte Lô, were arrested by the government police.  Meeting at the home of the president of the National Assembly (Lamine Guéye), the National Assembly approved the motion of censure removing the government of Prime Minister Mamadou Dia.  On December 18, 1962, President Léopold Senghor ordered government soldiers commanded by General Jean Alfred Diallo to arrest Prime Minister Dia and four other government ministers, Valdiodio N’Diaye, Joseph Mbaye, Ibrahima Sarr, and Alioune Tall.  France allegedly threatened military intervention if President Senghor was deposed by Prime Minister Dia.  On December 19, 1962, the National Assembly approved President Léopold Senghor as the new head of government, merging the positions of president and prime minister.  A new draft constitution, which eliminated the position of prime minister and established a presidential system, was approved by 99 percent of the voters in a national referendum held on March 3, 1963.  During a trial lasting from May 9 to May 13, 1963, the High Court of Justice convicted former prime minister Mamadou Dia of treason and sentenced him to life imprisonment.  The four former government ministers, who were charged with former Prime Minister Dia, were sentenced to prisons terms ranging from five years to 20 years.

Post-Crisis Phase (May 14, 1963-March 21, 1967):  Legislative elections were held on December 1, 1963, the Senegalese Progressive Union (Union Progressiste Senegalaise – UPS) won all of the seats in the National Assembly.  President Senghor was re-elected on December 1, 1963.  Demba Diop, a former cabinet minister, was assassinated by Abdou N’Daffe Faye in Thiés on February 3, 1967.

Crisis Phase (March 22 1967-February 26, 1970):  President Léopold Senghor survived an assassination attempt by Mustapha Lô at the Grand Mosque in Dakar on March 22, 1967.  Abdou N’Daffe Faye, who assassinated a former cabinet minister in February, was sentenced to death and executed on March 28, 1967.  Mustapha Lô, who was allegedly a supporter of former prime minister Mamadou Dia, was executed on June 15, 1967.  Legislative elections were held on February 25, 1968, and the Senegalese Progressive Union (Union Progressiste Senegalaise – UPS) won 80 out of 80 seats in the National Assembly.  President Léopold Senghor was re-elected without opposition on February 25, 1968.  After the government announced a reduction in student grants or scholarships, the Democratic Union of Senegalese Students (Union Democratique des Etudiants Sénégalais – UDES) organized a four-hour general strike by students at the University of Dakar on May 18, 1968.  The UDES organized a general strike at the University of Dakar beginning on May 27, 1968.  Students clashed with government police at the University of Dakar on May 29, 1968, resulting in the death of one student.  Several students that participated in the demonstrations were arrested by government police.  Anti-government demonstrations spread throughout Dakar on May 29-30, 1968, resulting in injuries to 25 individuals.  President Senghor closed the University of Dakar and declared a nationwide state of emergency on May 30, 1968.  In support of the student demonstrations, the National Union of Senegalese Workers (Union Nationale des Travailleurs du Sénégal – UNTS) led by Doudou Ngome organized a general workers strike in Dakar on May 31, 1968.  Government police attacked striking workers at the UNTS headquarters in Dakar on May 31, 1968, resulting in injuries to several UNTS members.  Some 900 UNTS members were arrested by government police.  President Senghor made changes in the government on June 5, 1968, and all students arrested during the May 29th demonstrations at the University of Dakar were released on June 9 1968.  Representatives of the government and UNTS signed an 18-point agreement (including a 15 percent wage increase) on June 12, 1968.  After 25 students were expelled from two technical schools, the UDES called for a strike at the University of Dakar to protest the expulsions on March 28, 1969.  Government security forces expelled students and closed the University of Dakar on May 6, 1969.  The UNTS called for a general workers strike on June 11, 1969.  The government declared a state of emergency on June 23, 1969.  A joint French-Senegal commission agreed to a set of education reforms on October 11, 1969, and the University of Dakar reopened on October 15, 1969.  The National Assembly adopted a new constitution reinstating the position of prime minister, and the new constitution was approved by 99 percent of the voters in a referendum held on February 22, 1970.  President Senghor appointed Abdou Diouf as prime minister on February 26, 1970.

Post-Crisis Phase (February 27, 1970-February 28, 1988):  Legislative elections were held on January 28, 1973, and the Senegalese Progressive Union (Union Progressiste Senegalaise – UPS) won 100 out of 100 seats in the National Assembly.  President Senghor was re-elected without opposition on January 28, 1973.  Former prime minister Mamadou Dia and former government ministers, Valdiodio N’Diaye, Joseph Mbaye, and Ibrahima Sarr, were pardoned and released from prison in March 1974.  The Democratic Party of Senegal (Parti Democratique Senegalais – PDS) was established by Abdoulaye Wade in October 1974. The UPS became the Socialist Party of Senegal (Parti Socialiste du Senegal – PSS) in November 1976.  Legislative elections were held on February 26, 1978, and the PSS won 82 out of 100 seats in the National Assembly. The PDS won 18 seats in the National Assembly.  President Senghor was re-elected with 82 percent of the vote on February 26, 1978.  President Senghor resigned on December 31, 1980, and Prime Minister Abdou Diouf was inaugurated as president on January 1, 1981.  President Diouf appointed Habib Thiam of the PSS as prime minister on January 1, 1981.  The governments of Senegal and Gambia signed an agreement to form a confederation on December 12, 1981, and the Confederation of Senegal and Gambia was formally established on February 1, 1982.  Legislative elections were held on February 27, 1983, and the PSS won 111 out of 120 seats in the National Assembly. The PDS won eight seats in the National Assembly.  President Diouf was re-elected with 83.5 percent of the vote on February 27, 1983.  President Diouf appointed Moustapha Niasse of the PSS as prime minister on April 3, 1983 (but the post of prime minister was again abolished on April 29, 1983).  The PDS and four other opposition political parties established the Democratic Alliance of Senegal (Alliance Democratique Senegalais – ADS) in July 1985. The government banned the ADS in September 1985.  Legislative elections were held on February 28, 1988, and the PSS won 103 out of 120 seats in the National Assembly. The PDS won 17 seats in the National Assembly.  President Diouf was re-elected with 73 percent of the vote on February 28, 1988.

Crisis Phase (February 29, 1988-April 1, 2000):  The Democratic Party of Senegal (Parti Democratique Senegalais – PDS) claimed election fraud, and supporters of the PDS demonstrated against the government in Dakar on February 29, 1988.  The government declared a three-month state of emergency in the Dakar region.  Government police arrested Abdoulaye Wade, leader of the PDS, on February 29, 1988.  Government police and demonstrators clashed in Dakar on April 21, 1988. Abdoulaye Wade was released from detention on May 12, 1988, and the government lifted the state-of-emergency on May 17, 1988.  Some 25 Mauritanians were killed in ethnic violence on April 17-28, 1989.  The government imposed a state-of-emergency from April 28 to May 19, 1989.  The Confederation of Senegal and Gambia was dissolved on September 30, 1989.  President Diouf appointed Habib Thiam as prime minister on April 8, 1991. President Diouf was re-elected with 58 percent of the vote on February 21, 1993.  The National Democratic Institute (NDI) sent 38 observers from 16 countries to monitor the presidential election from February 17 to February 23, 1993.  The PDS claimed election fraud.  Legislative elections were held on May 9, 1993, and the Socialist Party of Senegal (Parti Socialiste du Senegal – PSS) won 84 out of 120 seats in the National Assembly. The PDS won 27 seats in the National Assembly.  Babacar Seye, vice-president of the Constitutional Council, was assassinated on May 15, 1993.  On May 16, 1993, Abdoulaye Wade, leader of the PDS, and three of his assistants were arrested by government police for the killing of Babacar Seye.  Abdoulaye Wade and his three assistants were released by government police on May 18, 1993.  Government troops and demonstrators clashed in Dakar on February 16, 1994, resulting in the deaths of six individuals.  Legislative elections were held on May 24, 1998, and the PSS won 93 out of 140 seats in the National Assembly.  The PDS won 23 seats in the National Assembly.  President Abdou Diouf appointed Mamadou Lamine Loum as prime minister on July 3, 1998.  Concerned about the lack of election reforms, the PDS began a boycott of the National Assembly on April 22, 1999.  Some ten individuals were injured in pre-election violence in St. Louis on February 15, 2000, and six individuals were injured in pre-election violence in Rufiske (Rufisque) on February 23, 2000.  Abdoulaye Wade of the PDS was elected president with 58 percent of the vote in the second round of presidential elections on March 19, 2000. The Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) sent eight observers headed by Ide Oumarou of Niger to monitor the presidential election from February 18 to March 24, 2000. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sent observers to monitor the presidential election.  Abdoulaye Wade was inaugurated as president on April 1, 2000.

Post-Crisis Phase (April 2, 2000-February 17, 2011):  President Abdoulaye Wade appointed Moustapha Niasse as prime minister on April 5, 2000.  A new constitution was approved by 94 percent of the voters in a referendum held on January 7, 2001. President Wade appointed Mame Madior Boye of the Democratic Party of Senegal (Parti Democratique Senegalais – PDS) as prime minister on March 3, 2001.  Legislative elections were held on April 29, 2001, and the PDS won 89 out of 120 seats in the National Assembly.  The Alliance of Progress Forces (Alliance des Forces du Progrés – AFP) won eleven seats in the National Assembly.  President Wade appointed Idrissa Seck of the PDS as prime minister on November 4, 2002.  President Wade appointed Macky Sall of the PDS as prime minister on April 21, 2004.  President Abdoulaye Wade was re-elected with 56 percent of the vote in the first round on February 25, 2007.  The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sent 60 observers led by Leopold Ouedrago of Burkina Faso to monitor the presidential election.  Legislative elections were held on June 3, 2007, and the PDS-led coalition won 131 out of 150 seats in the National Assembly.  Opposition political parties boycotted the elections.  President Wade appointed Cheikh Hadjibou Soumaré as prime minister on June 19, 2007. President Wade appointed Souleymane Ndéné Ndiaye of the PDS as prime minister on April 30, 2009.  France formally closed its military bases in Senegal on June 9, 2010.

Crisis Phase (February 18, 2011-April 2, 2012):  Oumar Bocoum, a government soldier, set himself on fire outside the presidential palace in Dakar on February 18, 2011.  On June 23, 2011, President Wade withdrew the proposed changes to election rules, including a proposal lowering the threshold from 50 to 25 percent for requiring a second round of presidential elections and a proposal to create the position of vice-president.  Earlier that day, government police clashed with protesters opposed to the proposed changes election rules, resulting in injuries to some 100 individuals.  On July 21, 2011, the government announced a protest ban in Dakar.  Defying the government’s ban on protests, several opposition political parties and civil society groups opposed to President Wade’s plans to run for a third term, a coalition known as the June 23 Movement (M-23), organized anti-government demonstrations in Dakar for July 23, 2011.  One individual was killed in political violence in Dakar on December 22, 2011.  On January 27, 2012, the Constitutional Court ruled that President Abdoulaye Wade was eligible to run for a third term, since his first term started before the term-limited was added to the constitution.  The court also invalidated the presidential candidacies of three other candidates, including Youssou N’Dour.  One government policeman was killed in anti-government demonstrations in Dakar on January 27-28, 2012.  Two individuals were killed during protests in Podor on January 30, 2012.  On January 31, 2012, the UN secretary-general urged all political parties in Senegal to resolve their disputes peacefully.  Government police clashed with protesters in Dakar and other cities on February 15-19, 2012.  One individual was killed during protests in Kaolack on February 17, 2012, and one individual was killed during protests in Rufiske (Rufisque) on February 19, 2012.  Former President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria led a joint AU-ECOWAS mediation effort in Senegal beginning on February 21, 2012.  Macky Sall of the Alliance of Progress Forces (Alliance des Forces du Progrés – AFP) was elected president in the second round with 66 percent of the vote on March 25, 2012.  The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sent 150 observers led by Koffi Sama of Togo to monitor the first and second rounds of the presidential election.  The European Union (EU) sent 90 observers from 27 countries led by Thijs Berman from the Netherlands to monitor the presidential election from January 20 to March 26, 2012.  The African Union (AU) sent 26 observers led by Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria to monitor the second round of presidential elections from March 17 to April 1, 2012.  Macky Sall was inagurated as president on April 2, 2012.

Post-Crisis Phase (April 3, 2012-present):  President Sall appointed Abdoul Mbaye as prime minister on April 5, 2012.  Legislative elections were held on July 1, 2012, and President Sall’s United in Hope coalition won 119 out of 150 seats in the National Assembly.  The Democratic Party of Senegal (Parti Democratique Senegalais – PDS) won 12 seats in the National Assembly.  Cheikh Mbaye died after setting himself on fire in front of the official residence of President Macky Sall on January 8, 2013.  Karim Wade, son of former President Abdoulaye Wade, was arrested and charged with corruption on April 17, 2013.  President Macky Sall dismissed Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye, and appointed Aminata Toure as prime minister on September 1, 2013.

[Sources: Africa Research Bulletin (ARB), March 1-31, 1978, December 1-31, 1980, May 15, 1988, June 15, 1988; African Union (AU) press release, March 26, 2012; Arnold et al. 1991, 287-288; Associated Press (AP), February 28, 2000, March 23, 2000, April 1, 2000; Banks and Muller, 1998, 800-806; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), April 23, 1999, February 16, 2000, February 25, 2000, February 27, 2000, February 29, 2000, March 19, 2000, April 1, 2000, February 22, 2007,  February 26, 2007, February 27, 2007, June 9, 2010, January 31, 2012, February 28, 2012, March 25, 2012, March 26, 2012, March 27, 2012, April 2, 2012, July 5, 2012, January 13, 2013, April 15, 2013, April 17, 2013, September 1, 2013; Degenhardt, 1988, 318-319; Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) press release, February 25, 2007, February 27, 2007, February 20, 2012, February 21, 2012, February 28, 2012, March 20, 2012, March 23, 2012, March 24, 2012, March 26, 2012; Jessup, 1998, 656-658; Keesing’s Record of World Events, March 5-11, 1973, April 3, 1981, June 1983, April 1988, March 1993, May 1993, June 1998, July 1998; Langer, 1972, 1263; National Democratic Institute (NDI) statement, February 23, 1993; New York Times (NYT), April 29, 1989, May 17, 1993, May 19, 1993, March 20, 2000, March 2, 2007, December 29, 2011, February 21, 2012, February 26, 2012, March 25, 2012, June 18, 2012; Panafrican News Agency (PANA), February 27, 2000, February 28, 2000, March 20, 2000, March 23, 2000, April 1, 2000; Reuters, February 27, 2000, February 28, 2000, April 2, 2000, March 19, 2011, June 23, 2011, July 23, 2011, January 28, 2012, February 18, 2012, February 19, 2012, February 28, 2012, March 26, 2012, April 2, 2012, July 2, 2012, April 17, 2013, September 1, 2013; The Straits Times (Singapore), December 18, 1962, December 19, 1962, December 20, 1962, December 21, 1962; Voice of America (VOA), June 23, 2011, January 27, 2012, January 28, 2012, February 18, 2012.]