Senegal : Who is Ousmane Sonko, the youngest presidential candidate

Ousmane Sonko, PASTEF candidate. Photo: AFP


NEWSROOM (ADV) – At 44, Ousmane Sonko is the youngest presidential candidate of next February. Born on July 15, 1974 in Thiès, of civil servants parents, a father from Casamance (south of the country), militant of the Socialist Party of Léopold Sédar Senghor, and a mother “Baol-Baol” (center of the country), the candidate is polygamous and father of 06 children.

He spent part of his childhood in Sébikotane (near Dakar) and then in Casamance, where he obtained his baccalaureate.

Elected to the National Assembly of Senegal in the legislative elections of 2017, the honorable member is known for his outspokenness, his courage, his outputs especially at the hemicycle, his eloquence and his perfect mastery of the national news which him confer a certain notoriety and credibility constantly growing.

He is one of the rare politicians who has done all his school and university studies in the country of Teranga.

Indeed, with a degree in 1993, he began graduate studies at the Training and Research Unit of Legal Sciences at Gaston Berger University in Saint-Louis where he obtained a specialization in Public Law.

After obtaining his master’s degree, he joined the prestigious National School of Administration and Judiciary (ENAM) by entrance examination and graduated from his promotion in 1999 before Tax Inspector and Domains.

After 15 years of services at the level of taxes and domains, the unionist who was at the base of the creation of the Autonomous Union of Tax Officers and Domains in this entity of the State despite the refusal of the authorities is removed from the civil service in August 2016.

The reason put forward to justify its striking off is the “breach of reserve duty”.

In fact, this official had denounced several alleged “anomalies” fiscal or budgetary in the operation of the state and directly questioned the President of the Republic and his entourage.

To wash away any suspicion and any unsteady speculation, Sonko published his estate, consisting of the only house acquired at SICAP.SA, the only vehicle of 10 years of age and its meager assets.

The young executive is described a righteous, kind, hardworking man, with strong religious convictions by his work colleagues and alumni of the corporation

Following his removal, the young executive created his party called the “Patriots of Senegal for work, ethics and brotherhood (Pastef – Les Patriotes) he shares with fans and supporters, having the same principles and the same values as he, who party got a seat in the National Assembly and propels him as deputy.

This new status allows him to better access the public and private media, to have a better presence on the political scene and to play his role of opponent.

His war cry among others, relates to the lack of vision of public authorities, poor governance, the denunciation of partnership agreements, the CFA franc, the opacity of the conditions for awarding contracts for the exploitation of gas and oil, recently discovered in Senegal, the preferential treatment, which would benefit the deputies.

Ousmane Sonko did not just denounce the flaws of the current regime. In January 2018 he published a book entitled “Oil and Gas in Senegal. Chronicle of a spoliation “, in which work, he accuses the Sall clan of having” violated “the Petroleum Code and the Constitution.

In September 2018, he returns with a new book entitled “Solutions” which speaks of a set of coherent remedies that follow a rather fair and careful diagnosis.

In the book, he calls into question oil contracts to make black gold “a force for Senegal” and promises to renegotiate contracts to bring more than 600 billion to the state. Sonko also wants to balance the institutional balance of power so that the President of the Republic is no longer absolute master of the destiny of the country and thinks that the National Assembly is “a popular and appropriate counter-power”.

One of his first decisions he intends to take once in the supreme judiciary is to end the slush funds or political funds that he believes, animate “customers”. The 8 billion reserved for the head of state to make political politics, he finds them exorbitant and does not even accept the idea of “such a waste”.

The young candidate goes further because he intends to open a war against CFA francs because according to him, the issue of CFA francs is at the heart of his program of government.

A few days before the opening of the electoral campaign, the young candidate is the victim of several attacks and accusations.

Will he succeed to? We would know certainly soon !

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