Senegalese Elections: 2012–March 26th
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March 26, 2012 This morning while buying breakfast at Brioche Dorée I exchanged congratulations with all of my friends who work there. The overall vibe of Dakar felt hopeful and celebratory.
However, immediately upon arriving at Africulturban I had a lengthy conversation with Matador about yesterday’s events, which scratched below the gleeful surface of what I witnessed yesterday and this morning. Though Matador was glad that Wade was no longer in power, proud of his country for the peaceful electoral process, and cognizant of the heightened awareness that this presidential campaign brought to Senegalese people, he insisted that he expects nothing from Macky. He recalled the 2000 presidential elections, when Wade and the PDS replaced the 40-year reign of the Socialist Party, and everyone thought mass change was on the horizon. Matador explained that he fears a repeat of what he saw during this time period during which people became complacent and simply sat around waiting for someone/something to ameliorate their daily life. He believes the most realistic path to development in Senegal will be through people taking matters into their own hands, to the best of their ability, and working in whatever capacity they can to ameliorate the country. Moreover, Matador stated that he is skeptical of Macky’s political education having been under Wade, and that his election means just a different head continuing the reign of the Senegalese liberal political agenda. Matador is already recording a song directed at Macky.
Amadou Fall Ba, who oversees all the work of Africulturban, was content with the results but mostly because it will bring stability to the country, which allows him to get back to work and planning with more confidence.
Lively debates carried on throughout the day between the skeptics and the optimists and everyone in between. In the end, only time will tell. But in the mean time, everyone at Africulturban is planning to continue the contribution they make every day to the development of Senegal through urban culture.