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Senegal to hold delayed presidential election on March 24

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

Senegal politics

Senegal on Wednesday announced that a delayed presidential election will be held on March 24, after a top court ruled that a proposal to hold the vote after April 2 was unconstitutional.

President Macky Sall's mandate expires on April 2. 

Originally scheduled for February 25, President Sall called off the exercise citing electoral disputes. He was immediately accused by the opposition of seeking to carry out a coup.

His proposal to hold the election in December was the subject of deadly protests which rocked Senegal's reputation as West Africa's most stable democracy.

A proposal from a national dialogue commission for the vote to be held on June 2 was rejected by the Constitutional court.

Also on Wednesday, President Sall dissolved the government and replaced Prime Minister Amadou Ba, the presidency said in a statement.

Ba is the ruling coalition's presidential candidate.

An amnesty law passed by parliament on Wednesday could see some opposition leaders and supporters detained on charges of unlawful assembly freed. 

But the timing of the election means that there is little chance jailed opposition leader Ousmane Sonko can make it to the ballot paper.