Macky Sall postpones Senegal’s presidential election

Macky Sall, president of Senegal, has announced a postponement of the February 25 presidential election.


Sall made the announcement on Saturday during a national broadcast wherein he also called for dialogue with stakeholders.


“I will initiate an open national dialogue to bring together the conditions for a free, transparent and inclusive election in a peaceful and reconciled Senegal,” Sall said.


Sall has been president of Senegal since 2012 and recently announced that he would not be seeking a third term.

The Senegalese 2021 constitution only allows a president to serve for five years and is limited to two terms.


The president, who had previously hinted at a third term as granted by the constitutional council, recently decided to step down and announced Amadou Ba, prime minister, as his preferred successor.


He reiterated on Saturday that he would not be seeking a third term.


“As for me, my solemn commitment not to run for the presidential election remains unchanged,” Sall said.


Some civil society organisations had expressed concerns on issues relating to the electoral process.




The constitutional council is the body that screens candidates for the presidency of the republic.


The council also compiles the list of candidates and manages disagreements arising from the election of the president, and members of the national assembly. It also declares the results of the votes.


The council had earlier released the list of valid candidates for the 2024 presidential election.


Of the over 200 candidates, only 20 were approved, among whom are two women — Rose Wardini, a gynaecologist, and Anta Babacar Ngom, an entrepreneur.


It is the first time that Senegal would have such a high number of interested candidates for the presidential position.




The council approved Amadou Ba, Idrissa Seck who came second in the 2019 election, Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne, and Khalifa Sall, former mayor of the country’s capital Dakar.


The council rejected Ousmane Sanko of the African Patriots of Senegal for Work, Ethics, Fraternity (PASTEF) party.


Sanko, who is said to be popular among the youths, was rejected over multiple convictions.


He contested in 2019 and polled third, but was later arrested over alleged sexual assault, and sentenced to two years imprisonment.


This followed protests by youths who opposed his arrest, amid speculations of a possible third-term race by Sall.


The protest reportedly resulted in the killing of many youths, while many members of the opposition party, including journalists, were detained.


Sanko was then charged with “inciting insurrections, conspiracy, and terrorism”, and is currently in detention.


Also rejected by the council is Karim Wade, the son of former President Abdoulaye Wade, who served as the country’s head of state from 2000-2012.


Karim Wade was declared ineligible due to his dual nationality.




On January 31, Senegal’s parliament constituted a panel of inquiry into the activities of two judges in the constitution council.


During an interaction with TheCable on Friday, some civil society organisations said the judges were being probed over corruption allegations.


The organisations said the process of sponsorship, and lack of access to voter register lists, have posed doubts on the transparency of the election process.


On Friday, Wade’s Democratic Party (PDS) demanded a postponement of the election over a “lack of transparency”.


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