AFRICA/SENEGAL - The Constitutional Court cancels the postponement of the vote decided by President Sall

Friday, 16 February 2024 elections   justice  

Dakar (Agenzia Fides) - "Senegal has lost the title of African champion of football nations, but retains the title of beacon of democracy in Africa", says a headline on the Burkinabe news portal "Wakatsera" on the decision of the Senegalese Constitutional Court to cancel the postponement of the presidential elections to 15 December (see Fides, 5/2/2024). Yesterday, February 15, the Court declared unconstitutional the law passed by the National Assembly on February 5, postponing elections for ten months and keeping President Macky Sall in office until his successor takes office. The Court also annulled President Sall's decree changing the electoral calendar three weeks before the deadline. Given the impossibility of holding the presidential elections on the originally scheduled date (February 25), the Court called on the relevant authorities to hold the elections as soon as possible. The decrees issued by President Sall and now repealed by the Constitutional Court provided for an extension of the presidential term, which expires on April 2, until the beginning of 2025, but the Constitutional Court reiterated the principle of "inviolability" of the five-year presidential term. The opposition is now calling for the vote to be scheduled between February 25 and April 2 in order to respect the Constitution and the Court's ruling. Shortly before the Constitutional Court's ruling was published, a number of opposition activists who had been arrested in recent days and months were released. The intervention of the Supreme Guarantor of the Constitution was welcomed by a large part of the population of the country, which, as the Burkinabe website says, is considered a "beacon of democracy in Africa". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 16/2/2024)