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Samuel Sarr backs Sall postponing elections

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Senegalese-Gambian businessman and former energy minister Samuel Sarr, has said the reasons given by President Macky Sall for postponing elections “are quite explanatory, fair and honest” and that patriots who adhere to republican values, the rule of law and democracy, “must commit themselves without reservation to support the organisation of transparent and inclusive elections”.

In a statement issued in Dakar yesterday, Mr Sarr who served as a senior minister in President Abdoulaye Wade’s government, stated: “We must recognise and salute the wisdom of the decision of the president. Everything was in place for the country to sink into irreparable disaster if the electoral process carrying destructive bacteria had not been shortened. Trust no longer exists between the candidates and the Constitutional Council has been painted in the eyes of voters and candidates due to the clumsy, unjustified actions that the seven judges took…

“How could the Constitutional Council reject Karim Wade’s candidacy for dual nationality? The release in the press of proof of the dual nationality of Mrs Rose Wardini confirms that the work by the constitutional judges was botched. They did not take the trouble to verify the candidates’ declarations. Thus, sidelining Karim Wade cannot be justified. Remember that at least three other candidates admitted to run for president have dual nationality. If all citizens are equal before the law, why refuse to Karim Wade what has been authorised for other candidates? Is it because he is of fair complexion…?

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“We must start again on new bases by creating the conditions for holding a sincere election. An inclusive ballot assumes the participation of all candidates who meet the political and legal conditions. For this, a strong consensus is needed for the postponement of the election in order to initiate an open dialogue to jointly establish the modalities. Nothing should stand in the way of holding a national dialogue with the 97 candidates, political parties and interested civil society…

“During this dialogue, should candidates in prison be allowed to participate in the election? Should we eliminate citizen sponsorship? Is it necessary to set up a new Constitutional Council? Should we agree to raise the deposit to 100 million CFA for the presidential elections, non-refundable if a candidate gets less than 5% of votes cast?

“It is obvious that Macky Sall’s first concern is to organise democratic elections and leave power in the best possible political and social conditions. This is the meaning that must be given to this firm commitment by President Sall to the Senegalese people and to all of Africa. President Macky Sall is more determined than ever to make these major changes which will further strengthen the image of Senegal as a showcase of African democracy.”

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