By Alpha Kamara
Senegal’s opposition coalition Manko-Thakao, which means save Senegal in the local wolof dialect, has split after failing to agree on a leader for the coming elections.
The disagreement led to the split of the coalition into three factions.
The opposition parties had formed this anti-government coalition ahead of elections scheduled for July to unseat President Macky Sall’s Alliance for the Republic party.
The three new factions are: the Coalition Wattu Senegal headed by the main opposition Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) of Karim Wade, son of the former president Abdoulaye Wade; the Mankoo Yeessal Senegal Coalition headed by Modou Diagne Fada's Democratic Reformers; and a third headed by jailed opposition mayor of Dakar, Khalifa Sall.
Sall -- no relation to the president -- is in custody after having been accused of embezzlement.
"It’s not a breakaway. We disagree to agree. We are going into national legislative elections. We don’t necessarily need a single leader to go into the elections. Every party has its own stronghold and can always work together. But now we need to start mobilizing our supporters to be able to win more votes," said Abraham Samakeh, social coordinator of the opposition Party Democratic de Senegal (PDS).
The filling of candidates in the coming elections was the major source of disagreements.
The national legislative elections are scheduled for July and this development according to political analysts, has weakened this once strong force.
"The move by former President Wade to impose his son Karim Wade as the head of the opposition coalition destroyed the unity that once existed. By the look of things, this is a good sign for the ruling party because this coalition has really threatened their comfortable lead," said Ibrahima Kane of the Open society foundation.
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