Senegal President Macky Sall postpones presidential elections | EUROtoday

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DAKAR, Senegal — Senegalese President Macky Sall on Saturday introduced that elections scheduled for Feb. 25 can be indefinitely delayed, marking a primary in Senegal’s historical past and fueling issues concerning the electoral course of in a rustic with one of many strongest histories of democracy in West Africa.

Sall, who has served for 2 phrases, stated throughout an deal with to the nation that the delay was due to a dispute over which candidates had been in a position to run. He reiterated that he wouldn’t search a 3rd time period however supplied no timeline for when the elections can be held.

Plenty of the highest contenders to succeed Sall — most notably, standard opposition determine Ousmane Sonko — have been barred by the courts from working. In June, protests by supporters of Sonko, who confronted a number of prices that critics stated had been politically motivated, had been among the many deadliest in Senegal’s historical past and left greater than a dozen individuals lifeless.

Sall’s announcement of his choice to not search reelection has been adopted by a interval of relative calm. But the choice to delay the vote — which was introduced simply hours earlier than official campaigning was scheduled to begin — might gasoline a brand new spherical of protests in Senegal, the place frustration with the political course of was already working excessive.

Senegal’s elections have been a uncommon vivid spot for democracy activists within the area, the place plenty of army leaders have seized energy in coups lately, most just lately in Niger and Gabon. Military juntas additionally wield energy in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea.

In Ivory Coast and Togo, presidents are at present serving previous the 2 phrases initially mandated by their constitutions. (The president of Ivory Coast stated there had been a “reset,” whereas Togo’s legislature modified its legislation).

In Senegal on Friday, one of many different opposition events, representing a former president’s son, Karim Wade, who was barred from working as a result of he’s a twin citizen, requested that the election be delayed due to issues concerning the courtroom’s choice to bar Wade and others from working.

But a coalition representing ex-Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall pushed again, saying {that a} delay would characterize an “institutional coup d’état” and create “unprecedented political instability.”

Sall promised on Saturday to carry a nationwide dialogue to make sure that the elections are honest however supplied no timeline.