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Published On: Sat, Feb 3rd, 2024

Senegal Considers Postponing Election Pending Probe into Validation Process

The Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) on Friday said they have requested the postponement of the presidential election for this month of February via a bill submitted to parliament, citing incidents it alleged had compromised the transparency and integrity of the vote until the completion of a probe into how the contenders were validated.

Prime Minister Amadou Ba, the ruling party’s candidate, is consulting with President Macky Sall, the people said, asking not to be identified before a public announcement, Macky Sall’s office said he would address the nation at noon local time on Saturday.

PDS, the former ruling party of ex-President Abdoulaye Wade, did not propose a new date for the election.

Its candidate, Wade’s son Karim, was disqualified from the race to succeed President Macky Sall, the constitutional court ruled Wade was a dual citizen when he submitted his candidacy and therefore ineligible.

In a statement, PDS listed concerns with the constitutional court’s decision-making, the elimination of candidates and other issues that it said had derailed the race.

The push for a later vote “is part of our desire to preserve the integrity and transparency of the process,” it said.

It was not immediately clear how this proposed bill would be handled by parliament. The ruling coalition, which does not include PDS, has a majority of just one in the 165-seat house.

Tensions have risen in recent weeks over the constitutional council’s decision to exclude prominent contenders such as Wade and opposition firebrand Ousmane Sonko from the running, in which they say the rules for candidacy were not applied fairly.

“This bill will repair the damage suffered by more than 40 candidates dismissed from the presidential election,” said Karim Wade on X, formerly known as Twitter. “I ask the activists of the PDS, our allies and the millions of Senegalese who are fighting by my side to support this postponement.”

A postponement of the presidential poll would be unprecedented for Senegal, which has seen four largely peaceful transitions of power via the ballot box since independence from France in 1960.

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