Senegal gears up for Presidential elections

Senegal gears up for Presidential elections

Senegal is gearing up for the upcoming elections scheduled for March 24th.

President Macky Sall has remained true to his commitment of breaking away from the African tradition of clinging to power by altering term limit regulations.

Speculation had been rife that President Sall might extend his stay in office, especially after the elections were postponed from February to December of the same year by parliamentary and presidential decree. The opposition party took decisive action by challenging the president in the constitutional court, seeking to overturn the controversial bill that sparked widespread protests among Senegalese citizens who vehemently opposed President Sall’s proposed changes.

As President Sall’s 12-year tenure draws to a close on April 2nd, accusations of a constitutional coup have been leveled against him by opposition parties. However, President Sall has refuted these claims, asserting that he has no intention of seeking an extension to his term in office. Senegal stands out as a beacon of democracy in Africa, earning international acclaim for its political stability and adherence to democratic principles. Notably, it is the sole mainland country in West Africa that has not experienced a military coup.

64633d82e44049159527e92d_6463198155a4db4a21930e9e_Image-1-1024x576 Senegal gears up for Presidential elections

In response to mounting pressure, the Presidential Council has mandated that elections must be held before President Sall’s term concludes. Additionally, the parliament passed an amnesty bill granting freedom to individuals who were detained during protests between February 1, 2021, and February 25, 2024. The bill received approval with 94 votes in favor and 45 against. While critics fear this amnesty may shield those responsible for violence against protesters and even President Sall himself, proponents argue it will benefit opposition members, including opposition leader Mr. Sonko who was imprisoned in 2023.

Despite these political developments and reforms, there remains controversy surrounding the unchanged list of presidential candidates, which effectively excludes main rival Mr. Sonko from appearing on the ballot paper.

Tapiwa Rubaya

Tapiwa Rubaya is the current affairs, fashion and sports reporter at My Afrika Magazine.

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