Senegal Sets March 24 for Presidential Election Amidst Political Turmoil


Senegalese President Macky Sall has rescheduled the presidential election for March 24 after a top court deemed the proposed June 2 date unconstitutional. Amidst this decision, Sall dissolved the government, replacing Prime Minister Amadou Ba with Interior Minister Sidiki Kaba to allow Ba to focus on his campaign.

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The move follows a month-long electoral crisis marked by violent unrest and concerns over the country’s democratic stability. Parliament also passed an amnesty law aimed at easing tensions, although it has drawn criticism from Human Rights Watch for potentially granting impunity to security forces involved in violent crackdowns on protests.

The announcement comes after the Constitutional Council ruled against a proposal from a national dialogue commission for the vote to be held on June 2, stating it was not in line with the constitution. The decision marks the latest twist in the ongoing political saga, which saw a thwarted attempt by authorities in early February to postpone the February 25 poll to December.

Despite the turmoil, opposition presidential candidate Anta Babacar welcomed the new election date, expressing relief that the vote could take place before April 2. The unrest, fueled by concerns that Sall was attempting to silence opposition voices and extend his hold on power beyond his mandate, has seen a fresh wave of protests following the announcement of the plan to postpone the vote.

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