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Dakar residents react to ruling overturning presidential poll delay

This Senegalese reacts to the Counstitutional Council decision on Feb. 16, 2024.   -  
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Senegalese woke up Friday (Feb. 16) to a ruling on a historic decision.

In the streets of Dakar, many welcomed the move by the nation's top election authority to void the government's postponement of a presidential election scheduled this month and its rescheduling for December.

Since gaining independence in 1960, no presidential poll had ever been postponed in Senegal.

"This decision, it shows that fairness is normal. I didn't expect it to be franlk, I thought the Constitutional Council was going to follow the decision of president Macky Sall but with this new turn of events, I really think there is justice," Dakar resident Mahoumoudou said.

On late Thursday (Feb. 15), the constitutional council urged authorities to hold "the presidential election in the shortest possible time", conceding the initial date of February 25th couldn't be kept.

President Sall announbced the delay of the polls on February 3rd, hours before official campaigning was due to begin.

"The Constitutional Council has opened a breach, now we need a consultation to have a free, inclusive election, we need to discuss well and organize the elections," teacher Abdoulaye hoped.

Macky Sall postponed the election citing a dispute between the judiciary and the legislature over the final list of candidates.

Parliament backed a delay until December and voted to keep Sall in power until his successor takes office, which is unlikely to be before early 2025.

The postponement was rejected by opposition leaders and deadly protests erupted across Senegal resulting in the death of at least 3 people, multiple arrests and mobile internet cuts that further deepened political tensions in one of Africa’s most stable democracies.

On Friday, Regional body ECOWAS urged all "stakesholders in the electoral process to comply with the decision of the Constitutional Councils" and "give priority to inclusive dialogue".

Additionally, it called on "competent authorities to set a date" for the election.

Out of the 20 presidential candidates of this election, 14 appealed to the Supreme Court.

As Senegal wait for president Macy Sall to react, fresh protests are set to take place Saturday (Feb. 17).

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