Senegal elections should proceed on original date

In Summary

• President Macky Sall has postponed the March elections and can now stay in power up to December.

• The opposition wants the elections to proceed despite various irregularities

President Macky Sall, elected for a second time in 2019, has said he will not run again
President Macky Sall, elected for a second time in 2019, has said he will not run again
Image: AFP

The Senegal parliament has endorsed President Macky Sall's decision to postpone elections due in March. They can now take place as late as December.

President Sall made his announcement unilaterally as the electoral body had not said that the election cannot take place. Nevertheless, Sall latched onto various irregularities and the controversial decision by the Constitutional Council to ban several opposition candidates from standing while confirming 20 others.

However, this decision is unlikely to be reversed so Sall conceivably could seek a further postponement, thereby staying in power even longer.

Sall's party voted for an extension because his party MPs were worried that they may lose their seats in the coming election while Sall's chosen successor, Prime Minister Amadou Ba, might also lose.

Meanwhile a TV station has been closed down and opposition leaders arrested. Democracy is crumbling in Senegal, once a bastion of liberalism in Africa.

President Sall should rescind his decision and still hold elections not later than March 3. If the opposition is opposed to a postponement, they can hardly complain if two or three candidates are excluded from standing.

Quote of the day: "I would uphold the law if for no other reason but to protect myself."

Thomas More
The English Lord Chancellor was born on February 7, 1478

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