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Senegal: Opposition candidates vote in mock election to protest poll delay

Senegal mock election   -  
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Africa Elections

Senegalese presidential candidates on Sunday cast their ballots in a symbolic vote organised by a civil society organisation to denounce the postponement of the presidential election.

The country's election was scheduled for Sunday.

The presidential candidates who took part slipped their ballot papers into a box bearing the words "RIP 25 February."

“We cannot accept, with the stroke of a pen, being deprived of what is essential to us, that is to say, our freedom and democracy, and above all our ability to elect our leaders,” said presidential candidate and former Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sall.

Some young Senegalese protesters defied a ban on their demonstration and gathered on the streets of Dakar to condemn the postponement.

"It hurts me a lot to see that our rights have been trampled on to bring us back today to an uncertain process,” said protester Ibrahim Deme.

On February 3, Senegalese President Macky Sall postponed the vote in a televised speech to the nation.

The postponement was rejected by opposition leaders who led a protest against it, resulting in violent clashes with security forces, arrests and mobile internet cuts that further deepened political tensions in one of Africa’s most stable democracies.

This year’s election, unlike previous years, has been dogged by controversies from deadly protests that resulted in Sall announcing that he would not seek a third term, to the disqualification of two opposition leaders.