Political turmoil in Senegal as 15 presidential candidates accuse Sall of “ill will”

In a joint statement released late Tuesday, fifteen presidential candidates in Senegal’s delayed election accuse President Macky Sall of “ill will” and vow to take action to establish a new poll date swiftly. The civil society collective Aar Sunu Election organizes a new rally for Saturday, calling for the election to be held before Sall’s term officially ends on April 2.

Senegal, traditionally stable in West Africa, faces its worst political crisis in decades after President Sall’s last-minute delay to the presidential vote, originally scheduled for February 25, plunging the nation into unrest that has already claimed four lives.

The 15 signatories, including former Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall and imprisoned opposition candidate Bassirou Diomaye Diakhar Faye, accuse President Sall of neglecting his duty to organize the election, calling it a “constitutional coup.” They announce a series of actions to ensure the election occurs within the allotted time. Aar Sunu Election collective plans a rally in Dakar on Saturday, termed Sall’s “farewell party,” and urges voters to head to polling stations on Sunday in a symbolic gesture.

The political turmoil has led to unrest among students, with Senegal’s universities staging a two-day strike last week. On Wednesday, students at Cheikh Anta Diop University demanded the reopening of the campus, closed since deadly unrest last June, amidst a heavy police presence. Senegal’s international partners have expressed concern, but Sall’s commitment to implementing the Constitutional Council’s decision and the provisional release of hundreds of prisoners seem to have eased tensions.

President Sall, who postponed the election, is set to give an interview to three Senegalese media on Thursday evening, according to a presidential spokesperson. The opposition claims Sall’s move was an attempt to sabotage the election, thwarted by the Constitutional Council and the people. The question of when the election will be held remains open, creating uncertainty in the nation’s political landscape.

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *