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Senegal’s President Postpones Upcoming Elections Indefinitely Over Eligibility Controversies

An opposition candidate described the president's decision to postpone the election as a constitutional coup.

Following complaints and allegations of the barring of several candidates from standing,  Senegal’s President Macky Sall has postponed the country’s February elections.

President Macky Sall, the two-term president, who has reiterated that he would not be seeking re-election, did not set a new date.

Amid controversy, a constitutional council has prevented several candidates, including prominent politicians, from participating in the upcoming election.

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President Sall expressed concern that these tumultuous circumstances could significantly impact the integrity of the ballot. He announced plans to initiate an open national dialogue to establish conditions conducive to a free, transparent, and inclusive election, fostering peace and reconciliation in Senegal.

An opposition candidate described the president’s decision to postpone the election as a constitutional coup. Khalifa Sall, the former mayor of Dakar, urged people to protest, as his political coalition vowed to take the matter to court.

There have been warnings from influential Islamic clerics about the potential destabilization of the nation. Senegal is among countries known for its stability in the West African region.

According to a BBC report, twenty candidates had made the final list, but among the most prominent of those who had been excluded from the original vote, scheduled for 25 February, was opposition politician Ousmane Sonko.

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The popular figure was barred because of a libel conviction. Sonko, who has faced a number of court cases, said he had been the victim of a campaign to stop him from standing for president.

Similarly, Karim Wade, the son of a former president, was disqualified for allegedly holding dual citizenship, a charge he vehemently denied as “scandalous.”

Supporters of Mr. Wade in parliament raised concerns about the neutrality of two judges on the panel responsible for determining the final list of candidates. Some politicians argued that the candidacy rules were unfairly applied, an assertion authorities have refuted.

Additional text from BBC Africa

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