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Constitutional Crisis in Senegal: Macky Sall’s Presidential Election Delay Deemed Unlawful by High Court!

Senegal's Constitutional Council deemed Macky Sall's postponement of the Feb. 25 election unlawful, stating it violates the constitution, potentially questioning his legitimacy.

On Thursday, February 15, Senegal’s Constitutional Council ruled President Macky Sall’s decision to postpone the February 25 presidential election as unlawful, stating it violated the constitution. The council emphasized that Sall has no authority to delay or cancel elections and declared his action to extend his tenure beyond its April 2 end date invalid, potentially rendering him an illegitimate leader if he remains in office past this period.

 

This ruling escalates tensions in a nation already disturbed by Sall’s controversial move, which he justified by alleging irregularities in candidate vetting by the Constitutional Council. Following the president’s decision, amid chaotic scenes and opposition dissent, the National Assembly approved a delay of the vote to December 15 and extended Sall’s term to match this new timeline.

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In response to the Constitutional Council’s decision, President Sall pledged to respect the ruling and organize the election as soon as possible. This legal and political standoff has sparked widespread unrest, with opposition parties condemning the election delay as a “constitutional coup” and threatening to establish a parallel government if Sall overstays his tenure.

 

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The country has experienced sporadic protests, internet blackouts, and violent clashes, resulting in casualties and numerous injuries. Critics accuse Sall of suppressing human rights and creating a climate of fear, further tarnishing Senegal’s image of political stability in a region plagued by military coups. International bodies and foreign governments have called for a return to the regular electoral process.

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