Vickie Remoe Institute of Digital Communications

Senegal’s top court declares election postponement unconstitutional

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Senegal’s top court has declared the recent decision to postpone the presidential election unconstitutional. Both President Macky Sall’s proclamation and parliament’s bill to move the vote to December have been nullified.

This decision follows widespread protests in the country, once seen as a bastion of stability. A leading opposition figure hailed the ruling as a victory for democracy, expressing shame over the violations of the law and constitution.

The only female candidate, Anta Babacar, praised the Constitutional Council’s decision, seeing it as a sign of remaining democracy and justice. Now, the focus is on setting a new election date.

President Sall’s move to delay the election, citing concerns about opposition candidates’ eligibility, faced backlash. Despite support from some MPs, legal challenges were filed, with critics labelling the delay as a power grab or treason.

The Constitutional Council emphasized the impossibility of holding the original election date of February 25, 2024, but urged for a prompt rescheduling. President Sall has yet to respond to the ruling, though the government acknowledged it.

As the election’s original date approaches and disputes persist, including allegations of corruption and objections from excluded opposition figures, concerns about unrest loom. The release of opposition members from prison coincided with the court’s decision, possibly in a bid to calm tensions.

Senegal’s reputation as a stable democracy is under scrutiny, with its first-ever presidential election delay highlighting unresolved tensions and challenges to its democratic process.

Credit: BBC Africa

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