Senegal sets presidential election date, ending uncertainty from postponement

12 March
Constitutional Council of Senegal (photo credit:
Constitutional Council of Senegal (photo credit:
Tensions have gripped the country since early February, when a bid by President Macky Sall to postpone by 10 months a vote that had been due to take place on Feb. 25 provoked widespread protests and warnings by critics of democratic backsliding. Senegal, a country of 18 million, is normally one of West Africa's most stable democracies. The worst of the crisis appears to be over after the Constitutional Council ruled that the vote must be held before Sall's mandate expires on April 2. The new date leaves the 19 candidates little more than two weeks, rather than the usual 21 days, to drum up support. It also means that for the first time campaigning in the majority Muslim nation will take place during the holy month of Ramadan, which begins on Sunday night. "We will have to adapt everything," opposition candidate and former mayor of the capital Dakar, Khalifa Sall, told Reuters. "We were used to big gatherings, big events — it was festive — but this festive character does not fit with Ramadan, which is a time of penitence, a moment of communion." The campaign period also coincides with the Christian period of Lent. Sall, 62, who has reached the constitutional limit of two terms in power, said when he delayed the poll that he was doing so because of a dispute over candidates and alleged corruption within the Constitutional Council that approved the list. The council has denied the accusations.
Read the full article here: France 24


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