Senegal's President Macky Sall has announced the indefinite postponement of the presidential elections scheduled for February 25.


In a national address, Sall revealed that he had revoked a prior decree setting the election date, citing the need for an investigation into the integrity of two Constitutional Council judges involved in the electoral process. The decision marks the first-ever delay of a presidential vote in Senegal, a nation known for its peaceful transitions of power through democratic means since gaining independence from France in 1960.

President Sall emphasized his commitment to initiating an open national dialogue aimed at establishing the conditions necessary for a free, transparent, and inclusive election. However, he did not specify a new date for the postponed elections.

In the lead-up to the decision, the Constitutional Council had approved 20 candidates but disqualified numerous others, including prominent opposition figures Ousmane Sonko and Karim Wade. Wade's disqualification, based on allegations of dual citizenship with France, drew strong criticism from him, labeling it as "scandalous." Additionally, Rose Wardini, one of the two women on the approved candidate list, was detained on charges of allegedly concealing her French citizenship.

Despite President Sall's earlier commitment to transferring power to the election winner in early April, the delay raises questions about the stability of Senegal's democratic process. The president had previously announced that he would not seek a third term and had endorsed Prime Minister Amadou Ba from his party as his chosen successor.

In response to concerns surrounding the integrity of the election process, Senegal's parliament approved an inquiry into the Constitutional Council, the entity responsible for finalizing candidate lists and announcing election results. The unexpected support for the inquiry from members of the president's own party has fueled speculation about potential motivations to delay the vote.

Disqualified candidate Karim Wade initiated the call for an inquiry, alleging that two Constitutional Council members had connections to presidential candidates, including Prime Minister Amadou Ba. The influential League of Imams and Preachers of Senegal had warned against the risks of postponement, urging President Sall to take measures to ensure a stable and transparent electoral process.

Senegal faces a historic election as voters choose a successor to President Sall, who is not seeking a third term. Prime Minister Amadou Ba, Sall's chosen successor, is among the 20 candidates cleared by the Constitutional Council to participate in the election.


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