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President Sall’s Bold Amnesty Proposal Amidst Escalating Election Tensions

Senegal's President Sall proposes a general amnesty for 2021-2024 political demonstrators to ease tensions before elections, amidst demands for an election date and a boycott of the national dialogue by presidential candidates.

This week, President Macky Sall proposed a general amnesty covering the years 2021 to 2024. This announcement came during a national dialogue held on Monday.

President Sall conveyed his dedication to conducting elections before the onset of the rainy season in July, affirming his commitment to conclude his tenure in office as scheduled in April.

This initiative aims to grant amnesty for political actions linked to demonstrations within the specified timeframe, signifying a stride toward national reconciliation. President Sall plans to present this bill to the National Assembly to unify the nation and establish a peaceful atmosphere conducive to the forthcoming electoral process.

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The backdrop to this proposal is a nation steeped in a rich political history, as highlighted by rejected candidate Alioune Sarr during the dialogue. Sarr pointed to the critical role of national dialogues in preserving democratic transitions of power throughout Senegal’s history. His remarks underscored a collective yearning for an inclusive approach that honors the country’s democratic traditions, recalling previous consensual pacts that have steered Senegal’s political course.

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Amid these developments, assembly member Seydou Diouf emphasized President Sall’s duty to engage a wide array of participants in the dialogue, advocating for comprehensive consultations to guarantee the electoral process’s transparency and fairness. Diouf further noted that President Sall’s decision to abstain from the upcoming election underlines the necessity for an unbiased leadership role in ensuring a smooth transition of power.

However, the promise of a general amnesty and the assurance of elections have not entirely quelled the political unrest. In a significant display of dissent, 16 presidential hopefuls boycotted the national dialogue, calling for an immediate determination of the election date. This demand follows a recent judicial ruling by Senegal’s Constitutional Court, which found the prior postponement of the election unlawful and mandated the government to schedule a new date promptly.

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The postponement has escalated tensions, raising alarms over the integrity and transparency of the electoral process. With the political standoff ongoing, the national dialogue represents a pivotal opportunity for bridging divides and fostering consensus among a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including civil society and religious leaders.


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