Top Senegalese Court Overturns Election Delay

While noting the “impossibility” of holding the election on the initially announced date, barely 10 days away, the authority “invited the competent authorities to hold it as soon as possible.”

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Macky Sall's announcement will likely quell fears of a democratic backslide in Senegal [File: Ludovic Marin/ AFP]

Thousands of people gathered in Dakar on February 17 for a silent march to demand that the government uphold the election calendar. On February 16, Senegalese President Macky Sall had announced that he would abide by the Constitutional Council’s decision to organize elections “as soon as possible.”

The declaration comes in the wake of days of protests against the postponement of the much-awaited polls. The demonstrations saw deadly violence from state forces, leading to the deaths of three young people.

On February 15, the Constitutional Council, the country’s chief election authority, overturned a presidential decree that had postponed the presidential elections scheduled for February 25.

On February 3, President Macky Sall had revoked a November 26 decree that had set the date for the elections. On February 5, the National Assembly voted to adopt a law that would delay the polls until December 15, and have Macky Sall remain in office as president until his successor was chosen.

The seven judges of the Constitutional Council ruled on February 15 that both actions were unconstitutional. While noting the “impossibility” of holding the election on the initially announced date, barely 10 days away, the authority “invited the competent authorities to hold it as soon as possible.”

“The President of the Republic intends to fully implement the decision of the Constitutional Council,” read an official statement by the government issued on February 16.

Globetrotter

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Peoples Dispatch

Peoples Dispatch is an international media project with the mission of bringing to you voices from people’s movements and organizations across the globe.

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