Changing the norm
For the first time since the country’s independence in 1960, Senegal’s ruling party and its allies have lost an absolute majority in Parliament.
What’s the impact of this?
Well, among others, the direct impact this will have is that the ruling party now has to rely on other groups in the parliament to pass legislation. In an election that the interior ministry said had a 47% participation rate, the main opposition coalition Yewwi Askane Wi won 56 parliamentary seats, while its ally Wallu Senegal won 24 seats.
Is this a reflection of the current government’s performance?
Not exactly. The opposition’s main concern going into the election had been the rumoured potential 3rd term bid by the country’s President, Macky Sall, and a parliament majority for the ruling party would have largely secured such ambition. About seven million Senegalese were eligible to vote in the election. Sall’s party, the Alliance for the Republic (APR), and its allies lost 43 of the 125 seats in the 2017 elections.