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Senegal’s Constitutional Council Deems Government’s Election Postponement Unconstitutional

On Thursday, Senegal’s top election authority, the Constitutional Council, declared the government’s postponement of the presidential election originally scheduled for February 25 and its rescheduling for December as unconstitutional.

The court invalidated the decree signed by President Macky Sall that initially postponed the election. Additionally, the judgement ruled that the National Assembly’s decision on February 5 to reschedule the vote for December 15 was “contrary to the constitution.”

The abrupt postponement, declared just hours before the commencement of campaigns, citing a dispute between the judiciary and the legislature over the final list of candidates and concerns about the reported dual nationality of some candidates, has plunged the country into political uncertainty. It remains unclear if the election can proceed as initially scheduled, or if more time will be required for political campaigns.

Opposition leaders vehemently rejected the postponement, leading protests against it, resulting in violent clashes with security forces, arrests, and disruptions to mobile internet services, further exacerbating political tensions in one of Africa’s traditionally stable democracies.

This year’s election, unlike previous years, has been marked by controversies, including deadly protests leading to Sall’s announcement that he would not seek a third term, and the disqualification of two opposition leaders.

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