Elections: New turmoil surrounding the presidential election in Senegal

In Senegal, West Africa, the country's constitutional guardians have declared the controversial postponement of the presidential election unconstitutional.

Elections: New turmoil surrounding the presidential election in Senegal

In Senegal, West Africa, the country's constitutional guardians have declared the controversial postponement of the presidential election unconstitutional. What this means for the election originally scheduled for February 25th, which was surprisingly canceled by President Macky Sall at the beginning of the month and then postponed by Parliament to December 15th, initially remained unclear. The Constitutional Council ruled that Sall's second term in office, which ends on April 2nd, may not be extended - contrary to what Parliament decided.

The panel repealed the decree by which Sall had canceled the election. The election date of February 25th cannot be kept, but the election must take place as quickly as possible. Sall justified the postponement with, among other things, allegations of corruption against the Constitutional Council in the selection of candidates and suggested a national dialogue. The move sparked massive protests in the state of nearly 18 million people, which human rights activists said resulted in at least three people being killed, dozens injured and hundreds arrested. The United Nations, EU, USA, African Union and the West African confederation of states Ecowas expressed concern.

Senegal, which has been peaceful since its independence in 1960, was considered a stable, multi-party democracy in a region marked by coups and autocracies. Critics accused Sall, who has been in office since 2012, of a constitutional coup. The postponement of the election was also supported by the important opposition party PDS, whose candidate Karim Wade - son of Sall's predecessor Abdoulaye Wade - was not admitted. Sall emphasizes that he will not seek another term in office. Last year, according to human rights activists, at least 23 people were killed in protests against the conviction of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, who is also barred from the election.

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