MPs begin to debate a text to postpone the election

In a tense climate, Senegalese deputies began on Monday February 5 to debate a text on postponing the presidential election for several months, noted an AFP journalist. THE report adopted the day before by the preparatory committee proposes to postpone by six months or even a year, to February 2025, the presidential election initially scheduled for February 25, depending on the content of this text distributed at the meeting. The objective of the postponement would be “to avoid institutional instability and serious political unrest”and to lead “a“complete resumption of the electoral process”, says the report. This live is now over.

A vote with an uncertain outcome. The bill implementing the Senegalese head of state’s announcement would postpone the election date by a maximum of six months. Approval, which requires a three-fifths majority of the 165 deputies, is not a given. The gendarmes intervened to disperse a gathering in front of the National Assembly in Dakar. Mobile data internet was cut off at least in several districts of the capital on Monday, AFP journalists noted.

A decision by President Macky Sall. On Saturday, a few hours before the planned opening of the electoral campaign, Macky Sall declared having signed a decree postponing the presidential election scheduled for February 25. This is the first time since 1963 that a presidential election by direct universal suffrage has been postponed in Senegal, a country which has never experienced a coup d’état, a rarity on the continent.

The rejection of certain applications contested. These troubles follow a conflict between the National Assembly and the Senegalese Constitutional Council. In January, he validated twenty presidential candidacies, but rejected those of two opposition figures: Ousmane Sonko, in prison since July, and Karim Wade, minister and son of a former president. The latter called into question the integrity of two constitutional judges, and the deputies approved the creation of a commission of inquiry, with the votes of part of the presidential camp.

A country shaken by deadly unrest since 2021. Macky Sall’s announcement sparked an outcry and raised fears of an outbreak of fever in a country known to be an island of stability in West Africa, but which has gone through various episodes of deadly unrest since 2021.

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