15 candidates for the presidential election demand that the vote be held before the end of Macky Sall’s mandate

The Senegalese, who were to vote next Sunday, do not know when they will go to the polls after an unprecedented sequence since independence, during which outgoing President Macky Sall decreed the postponement of the election, before seeing his decision invalidated by the constitutionnal Council.



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Residents of Dakar, Senegal, read the headlines of the newspapers, February 16, 2024. (SEYLLOU / AFP)

In the midst of a political crisis, 15 of the 20 candidates in the Senegalese presidential election are demanding that the vote be held quickly. “The new date of the election as well as that of the transfer of service between the president and his successor must be held no later than April 2,” they declared in a document sent Monday February 19 to AFP and authenticated to the press agency by two of the signatories.

Since February 3 and the announcement by the outgoing president, Macky Sall, of the postponement of the election, initially scheduled for Sunday 25, the country has been plunged into the unknown. After violently repressed demonstrations across the country and the invalidation of the postponement by the Constitutional Council, the Senegalese do not know when they will go to the polls. And this while Macky Sall’s mandate is due to end on April 2.

President Sall said on Friday his intention to respect the decision of the Constitutional Council and to carry outr “without delaying the necessary consultations for the organization of the presidential election as soon as possible”. But the presidency has so far remained silent on the possible opening of discussions. In the text, the candidates thus note “with bitterness that since the decision of the Constitutional Council no action has been taken by the authorities to execute it”.

A candidate withdraws from the race

The text bears the names of some of the main competitors, including former Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall and anti-system candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye. It does not include that of Prime Minister Amadou Ba, candidate of the presidential camp, nor of the former heads of government Idrissa Seck and Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne.

If she withdrew from the race on Monday, the Franco-Senegalese gynecologist Rose Wardini, active in civil society, also called for the election to take place before April 2.

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