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“I am seeking for nothing except to leave a country in peace” Sall says as protests erupt

Senegal President Macky Sall poses during an interview with The Associated Press at the presidential palace in Dakar, Senegal, Friday, Feb. 9, 2024   -  
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Sylvain Cherkaoui/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved.


In his first interview since announcing the postponement of the presidential election, Senegal's Macky Sall argues his decision to intervene was necessary to prevent worse electoral chaos.

He spoke Friday (Feb. 09) as nationwide protests shook the country.

“I am for an inclusive, transparent and peaceful process that allows me to pass on the baton smoothly and in peace. That is the most important thing for our country today. You are right that West Africa is currently in a extremely difficult time, it's not at such a time when I am about to end my term that I will reinvent myself in a new career as a dictator or non-democrat," Sall told the Associated Press.

"That’s a picture they are painting, but it doesn’t correspond to my profile or my personality and that doesn’t correspond to reality. The reality is that if there hadn’t been this crescendo of successive crises, despite the breaches, we wouldn’t have gone in this direction''.

Last May, Sall held a national dialogue aimed at reducing political tensions after unprecedented riots.

However, rights groups continued to accuse authorities of repressing the media, civil society and the opposition.

Senegal's president now believes a new dialogue can solve the crisis the country grapples with.

“The dialogue for me can start anytime from next week, but I think there are prerequisites if we want to have success. First among these prerequisites is to establish trust between the actors, bring peace and enter a dialogue," Senegal's president said.

"So within one or two weeks maximum if the actors accept and I see a lot of interest from more and more actors who are okay with the idea of dialogue, that means we can get there quickly.”

Opposition lawmakers have filed an appeal at the Constituional court.

The decree voted by Parliament to postpone the election is also contested by candidates in the presidential election.

Out of 20, 14 appealed to the Supreme Court.

Senegalese faith in democracy has significantly declined under Sall, according to an independent survey by a research network

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