Senegal constitutional council declares election postponement illegal

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The Senegalese constitutional council has declared the postponement of the February 25 presidential election as “illegal”.

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The council, during a meeting on Thursday, revoked the decree signed by Macky Sall, the incumbent president, postponing the election.

The council said the date voted by the parliament was unconstitutional. TheCable understands that the council directed relevant authorities to ensure a new date is approved soon.

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The council is the body responsible for screening candidates for the presidency in Senegal.

On February 3, a day before the commencement of political campaigns in Senegal, Sall postponed the election over “problems with the candidates list”.

He also cited the alleged corruption against two members of the constitutional council as one of the reasons for the postponement.

Sall had called for a national dialogue after the postponement, but Senegal’s parliament further extended the election to December 15.

The decision was met with stern disapproval by members of the opposition who criticised the judgment and called it “an institutional coup”.

Sall who had been in office since 2012, had earlier announced he would not be running for a third term.

The election date extension was also viewed by members of the opposition as a means of extending his mandate beyond the constitutional stipulation, as his tenure was expected to elapse in April.

This was followed by demonstrations which led to the arrest of some members of the opposition, including journalists in the country.

The Senegalese government also suspended access to mobile internet connections in the country.

The government said the suspension was due to the “dissemination of several hateful and subversive messages relayed on social networks in the context of threats and disturbances to public order”.

Mobile internet was restored after two days, but the TikTok social platform remains banned in the country.

 

 

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