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Senegalese go to the polls a week from today!

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Dear Editor,

President Macky Sall is a giant of politics and has no rivals in the political arena of Senegalese politicians. By exercising his presidential prerogative and only Macky knows how. Sonko-Faye exit from jail last Thursday night was a masterstroke of President Sall, and the move handed the presidency to his former premier minister and heir apparent, Amadou Ba.

Diomaye, while under detention in state penitentiary and the campaign to elect him in absentia garnered more momentum than any of the 18 candidates vying for the presidency on the March 24 poll, his physical presence on the campaign trail favoured not him, but candidate Amadou Ba of President Macky Sall’s camp. Observing from afar, given the homogeneity of the Senegalese society and the complexity of its electorate, the public persona of Diomaye Faye after his release from prison left much to be desired. This is the nature of the business of politics. Politics is not about substance or intellectual pedigree: instead, it’s cosmetic franchise of vanity and cheap personal riches and fame. Just a few days on the campaign trail, Diomaye made costly utterances and pronouncements in Ziguinchor that are acerbic and pernicious. It seems he and his mentor Ousmane Sonko, tout the socialism agenda, which in my optics, is anathema to the Senegalese society. Diomaye needs time to prepare for primetime and President Sall exposed him to the electorate for exactly this purpose.

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Watching their joint public appearances, Sonko appeared to be the towering figure, charismatic and overshadowing flag-bearer Diomaye in mortifying perceptions. Sonko is not a cavalier politician; he’s a pro and he knows what awaits them on the evening of Sunday, March 24. He’ll make sure he said the right things in anticipation of a rematch between him and President Amadou Ba, in February, 2029 presidential elections.

My conclusion is that former premier minister Amadou Ba will win in the first round with a commanding 51 to 53% of the vote, and Diomaye will come a distant second!

Psastef will have to swallow the bitter pill for now, given all what had happened to them and continue the march for heyday to come. Democracy is not an event, it’s a process. Ousmane Sonko-led Pastef has definitely made a mark in the body-politics of Senegal, with masterful demonstration of resistance and combined dogma and pragmatism in one grand basket. Arguably, President Macky Sall did not seek a third term because of Pastef of Ousmane Sonko. A laudable feat!

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Good luck to all contestants in the March 24 poll, the electorate of Senegal and the nation of Senegal. Let the people decide!

Musa Bassadi Jawara

Mandinari

FGM has no place in today’s society

Dear Editor,

FGM is illegal in The Gambia. The law is clear about that. The parents who subject their daughter to the practice are defying the law or they are ignorant and as they say, ignorance is not an excuse under the law.

Female genital mutilation leaves young girls scarred for the rest of their lives, with multiple gynaecological and obstetric problems. Surely, in 2024, this practice should be totally banned and rejected by society.

It is hard to understand why any mother would allow their daughter to go through this, knowing all the problems they have themselves lived with throughout their lives.

If the practice is allowed to continue in The Gambia, we will undoubtedly see many more female deaths.

Female genital mutilation must be stopped in its tracks before we see a similar toll of hundreds of deaths among the young female population.

Many, many archaic customs around the world have been dropped as societies evolved — consider the dunking of witches in the village pond in Europe centuries ago. Female genital mutilation should be encouraged to go the same way.

Sariba Darboe

New Jeshwang

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