The # SunuDébat campaign, launched in early January by some Senegalese citizens on social networks, has come to fruition: a televised debate between the presidential candidates will take place on Thursday 21 February. Only Macky Sall still refuses to participate.
For the first time in Senegal's history, a televised debate will pit candidates against the presidential election. Private TV channel 2STV, Radio Iradio and Seneweb have agreed to broadcast the program # SunuDébat, which will take place on Thursday 21 February evening, 72 hours before the first round of the presidential 24 February.
The four opposition candidates - El Hadji Sall Issa, Madické Niang, Ousmane Sonko and Idrissa Seck - have confirmed their presence in this debate, unlike outgoing President Macky Sall.
The modalities of this unpublished television debate are still being finalized. The exchanges between the candidates should take place in Wolof, so that they are understood by a maximum of Senegalese. Two journalists and a moderator will be on the set to lead the discussions.
The themes of the debate are being set, in particular with the help of the Civil Forum, an association committed to the issues of citizenship and good governance. The organizers also intend to address the main issues raised in recent weeks by Internet users through the hashtag # SunuDébat.
Twitter on TV
This hasthag, launched in early January on Twitter by Awa Mbengue, a third year student at Sciences Po Paris, quickly grew on Senegalese social networks.
The idea? Organize, as is done in many other countries, a televised debate between the various presidential candidates to confront their respective programs against voters.
Issa Sall, Madické Niang, Ousmane Sonko and Idrissa Seck had quickly indicated their interest in this debate, unlike Macky Sall. On Twitter, his minister adviser in charge of communication, El Hadj Hamidou Kassé, had felt that the conditions for such a debate were not met, given the "surge of verbal violence" and the "rather crude remarks" of opponents .
"It's crazy to have arrived there! Now we hope that this debate will really be held, "Awa Mbengue reacts. "It's already a small victory to see that everything is being put in place. # SunuDébat was worn by Senegalese youth on social networks. This shows that when you listen to youth and give them the means, they can do great things. "
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