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Senegal: President Sall reiterates his intention to leave power as planned on April 2

2024-02-22T20:41:57.303Z

Highlights: Senegal: President Sall reiterates his intention to leave power as planned on April 2. The Constitutional Council noted last week the impossibility of maintaining the presidential election on February 25 and asked the authorities to organize it “as soon as possible” The opposition suspects a presidential camp of settling with the calendar for fear of the defeat of its candidate, Prime Minister Amou Baadadou Diomaye Faye. She suspects a third term for Mr. Sall, although he has said he does not want to run.


The Constitutional Council noted last week the impossibility of maintaining the presidential election on February 25 and asked the authorities to organize it “as soon as possible”.


Senegalese President Macky Sall left on hold on Thursday the date of the presidential election which he had decreed to be postponed, while ensuring that his mandate at the head of the country would end as planned on April 2.

“As for the date, we will see what the dialogue will propose

,” he said during an interview with the Senegalese press, referring to the political dialogue that he intends to lead from Monday.

“The election can be held before or after April 2

,” he said.

Asked about the possibility that it would be held between now and April 2, he replied

“I don’t think so”

, while ensuring that his mission ended on April 2.

“On April 2, 2024 my mission ends at the head of Senegal

,” he declared.

Senegal, readily praised for its stability and democratic practices despite having experienced serious political unrest in the past, has been plunged into the unknown since the decision in early February by President Sall and the National Assembly to postpone until December 15 the presidential election scheduled for February 25.

This postponement, denounced as a

“constitutional coup”

by the opposition, caused a commotion in public opinion and demonstrations which left four dead.

Last week, the Constitutional Council vetoed this postponement and the retention of President Sall in his post until the installation of his successor.

The Council noted the impossibility of maintaining the presidential election on February 25 and asked the authorities to organize it

“as soon as possible”

.

Despite speculation about the temptation to force a move, President Sall said the next day his intention to respect the Council's decision and to carry out

"without delay the necessary consultations"

for the organization of the vote.

Since then, nothing has officially filtered out of the discussions he allegedly held, despite statements to the press from personalities saying they had played good offices, including with Ousmane Sonko, the main character in a standoff with the state which has given rise to several episodes of deadly protests since 2021. Mr. Sonko has been imprisoned since July 2023 and has been disqualified from the presidential election.

But the candidacy of his second, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, also detained, was validated by the Constitutional Council.

Calls for mobilization

President Sall asked Wednesday in the Council of Ministers that

"all arrangements"

be taken

"for a good organization of the presidential election on a date which will be fixed very soon, after consultations with political actors, society leaders civilian and representatives of the active forces

.

He asked the Ministry of Justice to finalize texts

“to materialize the desire for reconciliation and forgiveness”

.

A prisoner amnesty law was discussed a week ago.

Several hundred detainees have been released since last week, contributing to a fragile detente.

But civil society, which mobilized several thousand people last weekend, has planned a new rally for Saturday in Dakar to maintain pressure on those in power, as has the presidential camp to support Mr. Sall.

The Bassirou Diomaye Faye camp accused the president on Wednesday evening of dragging his feet, as did the vast majority of the 19 candidates selected by the Constitutional Council.

He will only agree to discuss to set

"without delay"

the date of the presidential election, and this must take place before April 2 and the end of Mr. Sall's mandate, he warned in a press release.

The president justified the postponement of the election by the heated disputes that arose during the pre-electoral process.

He said he wanted an incontestable election, worrying about the risk of new outbreaks of violence after those of 2021 and 2023.

After the intervention of the Constitutional Council, a new controversy emerged on the holding of the presidential election before or after April 2, and on a restart from scratch, or not, of the process of approval of candidacies.

The opposition suspects the presidential camp of wanting to settle with the calendar for fear of the defeat of its candidate, Prime Minister Amadou Ba, designated by President Sall to succeed him.

She suspects a maneuver to keep Mr. Sall in power, although he has said he does not want to run for a third term.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2024-02-22

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