The President of Senegal, Macky Sall, in Paris on June 23.
President Sall announced on Saturday, a few hours before the official opening of the campaign, to repeal the decree setting the presidential election for February 25.< /p>
This is the first time since 1963 that a presidential election by direct universal suffrage has been postponed in Senegal. Many reactions highlighted the practice of democracy and alternation. Senegal has never experienced a coup d'état, a rarity on the continent, although there have been several in recent years in West Africa.
President Sall cited the conflict that broke out between the Constitutional Council and the National Assembly, after the country's final validation of 20 candidates and the elimination of several dozen others.
At the initiative of Karim Wade, failed candidate who called into question the integrity of two constitutional judges and called for the postponement of the election election, the Assembly approved the creation of a commission of inquiry into the conditions of validation of candidacies.
Against all expectations, the deputies from the presidential camp supported the approach. It provoked a lively dispute over the separation of powers, but also fueled suspicion of a government plan to postpone the presidential election and avoid defeat. The candidate of the presidential camp, Prime Minister Amadou Ba, is contested within his own ranks and faces dissidents.
On the contrary, the anti-system Bassirou Diomaye Faye, whose candidacy is validated by the Constitutional Council although he has been imprisoned since 2023, has established himself in recent weeks as a credible candidate for victory, a nightmare scenario for the presidential camp.
Senegal cannot afford a new crisis, after deadly unrest in March 2021 and June 2023, said the President Sall, announcing a national dialogue for a free, transparent and inclusive election and reiterating his commitment not to be a candidate.
According to the electoral code, a decree setting the date of a new presidential election must be published at the latest 80 days before the election, which would lead to the end of April at best, an almost impossible scenario.
President Sall therefore risks remaining in his post beyond the end of his mandate on April 2.