Senegal’s Supreme Court Rejects President Sall’s Attempt to Postpone Election

Senegalese President Postpones February 25 Presidential Election Indefinitely

Senegal’s highest election authority nullified the government’s decision to delay the presidential election originally set for February 25th and reschedule it for December, ruling the actions unconstitutional.

The constitutional council invalidated President Macky Sall’s decree issued earlier this month to postpone the election, as stated in a judgment approved by seven council members and disclosed to the Associated Press.

Additionally, the council deemed the National Assembly’s resolution on February 5th to postpone the vote to December 15th as “contrary to the constitution.

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“The council emphasized the fixed nature of the five-year presidential term and urged competent authorities to organize the election at the earliest opportunity.

Opposition figures lauded the court’s decision, considering it a move that restores Senegal’s democratic path. Former Prime Minister Aminata Toure, now aligned with the opposition, expressed her lack of surprise at the ruling, citing the magnitude of recent events.

In response to the court’s decision, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which had urged President Sall to adhere to the election schedule, acknowledged the ruling.

The ECOWAS Commission called upon all stakeholders to abide by the decision and urged competent authorities to set a new date for the presidential election in accordance with the court’s decision.

The postponement of the election has plunged Senegal, usually regarded as one of West Africa’s most stable nations, into political unrest, resulting in three fatalities and numerous arrests during protests.

Opposition and civil society groups have renewed calls for demonstrations, with a peaceful march organized by a civil society collective scheduled for Saturday.

Simultaneously, several government opponents detained in politically motivated cases have been released from prison, seemingly an attempt by President Sall to address public concerns.

Lawyer Cheikh Koureissi Ba confirmed the release of several dozen detainees involved in politically charged cases.

Among those released are Aliou Sane, coordinator of the citizens’ opposition movement “Y’en a marre” (I’m fed up); Djamil Sane, mayor of a Dakar neighborhood; and several members of the dissolved opposition party Pastef, led by opposition figure Ousmane Sonko.

Despite these releases, there is no update on the status of Ousmane Sonko and his second-in-command, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, who have been imprisoned since 2023. Notably, several hundred opposition members have been arrested since 2021, following Sonko’s confrontation with the government, which led to deadly unrest. #Senegal