Senegal: 15 candidates call for the presidential election to be held before April 2

Senegal: 15 candidates call for the presidential election to be held before April 2

Fifteen of the 20 candidates selected in January for the Senegalese presidential election are demanding that the election take place no later than April 2, in the midst of a political crisis and in the midst of uncertainty over the date of the vote.

The Senegalese, who were to vote next Sunday, do not know when they will go to the polls after an unprecedented sequence since independence, during which outgoing President Macky Sall decreed the postponement of the election and the Constitutional Council invalidated his decision .

This sequence triggered a new and heated dispute over the holding of the presidential election before or after April 2, the official expiration of President Sall’s mandate. The dispute also concerns a restart from scratch, or not, of the process which saw the Constitutional Council approve 20 candidacies in January.

The names of 15 of the 20 competitors then selected appear at the bottom of a press release consulted Monday by AFP and saying that “the new date of the election as well as that of the handover of service between the president and his successor must be held no later than April 2”. Two of the signatories authenticated the document with the AFP.

The candidates assure that the list of 20 applications approved in January is intangible.

President Sall said on Friday his intention to respect the decision of the Constitutional Council and to carry out “without delaying the necessary consultations for the organization of the presidential election as soon as possible”.

The presidency has remained silent until now on the possible opening of discussions.

Candidates notice “with bitterness that since the decision of the Constitutional Council no action has been taken by the authorities to execute it”.

Wade’s announced return

The text bears the names of some of the main competitors, including former Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall and anti-system candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye. It does not include that of Prime Minister Amadou Ba, candidate of the presidential camp, nor of the former heads of government Idrissa Seck and Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne.

One of the two candidates selected by the Constitutional Council is also absent. Gynecologist active in civil society, Rose Wardini announced to the press on Monday that she was withdrawing from the race due to information about her dual Franco-Senegalese nationality. The Constitution requires exclusively Senegalese citizenship to compete in the presidential election.

Ms. Wardini also called for the election to take place before April 2.

Karim Wade, former minister and son of ex-president Abdoulaye Wade, was disqualified by the Constitutional Court because of his dual French and Senegalese nationality. Mr. Wade’s protests and his accusations of corruption against two judges of the Constitutional Court served the presidential camp to justify the postponement of the election.

The presidential camp and that of Mr. Wade joined forces with the National Assembly to vote to postpone the election until December 15. With the invalidation of the postponement by the Constitutional Court, Mr. Wade’s candidacy appears strongly compromised.

The coalition which supports him appeared on Monday to place its hopes in the consultation promised by President Sall and not to give up on a possible victory for Mr. Wade.

The coalition intends “participate fully in the national dialogue” who must stand ” without delay “Amadou Lamine Thiam, president of the parliamentary group of pro-Wade elected officials, told the press.

He said Mr. Wade, who has lived in exile for several years, would soon return to Senegal and asked his supporters to reserve “an unprecedented popular welcome” with a view to its “brilliant victory” in the presidential election.

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