Senegal’s election postponement can worsen sub-region’s fragile political atmosphere – Africans Rising

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Senegal’s election postponement can worsen sub-region’s fragile political atmosphere – Africans Rising.

The decision of Senegalese President Macky Sall to postpone the country’s impending presidential election can worsen the sub-regional’s fragile political atmosphere, Africans Rising, a Pan-African movement, has cautioned.

Per its constitutional provision, the country is supposed to go to the polls on February 25, 2024, to elect a new President as Sall’s mandate ends on April 02.

However, the President, in a televised address to the nation on Saturday, announced that he had cancelled the election due to electoral issues, thereby postponing the election to an unspecified date.

“The postponement of the February 25th election is a clear attempt by President Sall to cling to power beyond his constitutional limit.

“In other words, he is trying to achieve by this latest move the same outcome that previous manipulations had intended to achieve,” a statement issued by Africans Rising, initialed by Ann Njagi, the Communication and Media Lead, and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), noted.

The statement drew attention to the already dire political situation in the West African sub-region, warning that the postponement of Senegal’s presidential election without recourse to the law threatened peace and stability.

The unprecedented step of delaying the poll, to an unspecified date, pitches Senegal into uncharted constitutional waters, political analysts have warned.

Sall’s pronouncement follows the Constitutional Council’s January decision to exclude some prominent contenders from the electoral list, which has fanned discontent about the electoral process, the international news agency, Reuters, has reported.

“These troubled conditions could seriously undermine the credibility of the ballot by sowing the seeds of pre- and post-electoral disputes,” Sall claimed in his address.

He assured of an open national dialogue to ensure conditions for a free, transparent, and inclusive election, although he did not specify a new date.

Africans Rising, in its statement, said it “stands in solidarity with the people of Senegal and join them in calling on President Sall to respect the constitution and the democratic aspirations of the people”.

The movement is urging the President to immediately rescind his order to postpone the election.

“We will hold President Sall wholly responsible for any instability occasioned by his political greed.”

The statement urged the West African Regional bloc, ECOWAS, to come out clear in its condemnation of the intended postponement of the election, asking: “Without any serious move to prevent civilian coups against constitutions, what moral right would there be to condemn military coups in the region?”

Source: GNA


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