The Political Situation in Senegal: International Concerns
Senegal’s political situation has raised international concerns after President Macky Sall postponed this month’s election due to a dispute over candidate eligibility. The decision has prompted calls for clarification on the new election date from various international actors, including the West African regional bloc Ecowas, the US, France, and the EU.
Protests and Uncertainty
The capital city, Dakar, has witnessed pockets of demonstrations and clashes with the police. The scenes in Dakar are worrying, and more protests are scheduled for Monday. Senegal has long been viewed as a stable democracy in West Africa, but the uncertainty surrounding the election timetable and concerns about the fairness of the electoral process are undermining this image.
President’s Decision and Opposition Allegations
President Sall’s announcement that he will not seek a third term was initially welcomed. However, the lack of a clear electoral timetable has raised concerns about the consequences of this delay. The opposition has accused the government of bringing politically motivated cases against potential candidates, leading to violent protests and fatalities in the past.
Constitutional Coup and Ineligible Candidates
An opposition candidate has described the postponement of the election as a “constitutional coup.” Several candidates, including Khalifa Sall and Karim Wade, have been deemed ineligible by a constitutional council. Wade has refuted allegations of holding French citizenship and criticized his exclusion as scandalous. His party has called for the postponement of the vote and questioned the neutrality of the judges involved in the candidate selection process.
International Calls and Senegal’s Stability
It is uncertain whether the international calls for an immediate election will have any significant impact. While France no longer wields the influence it once had in its former colonies, Senegal’s stability may be tested if the opposition manages to organize large street protests against the delay. Critics of President Sall speculate that he may have feared his chosen successor, Prime Minister Amadou Ba, was at risk of losing the election.
President Sall’s Response
President Sall responded to the complaints and unrest by canceling the election and pledging to initiate an open national dialogue. He aims to create the conditions necessary for a free, transparent, and inclusive election that promotes peace and reconciliation in Senegal.
Ineligible Candidates and Accusations
In addition to Karim Wade, other prominent figures, including Ousmane Sonko, have been excluded from the original vote. Sonko, who has faced multiple court cases, claims to be the victim of a campaign aimed at preventing him from running for president.
Read More of this Story at www.bbc.com – 2024-02-04 17:48:00
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