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Friday, April 19, 2024
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Senegalese elections

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After a very bumpy road, it seems that the Senegalese people will have the chance to go to the polls and choose the person to be their next president soon. There were fears for the continued stability of that country when the current president, Mr Macky Sall, announced the postponement of the election which was supposed to take place in February 2024.

This brought about swift and intense reactions from both within and outside the country. Many people called it a constitutional coup calculated by Mr Sall to extend his stay in office. The international committee called on all Senegalese to work hard towards protecting and nurturing the democratic gains attained over the past few years.

Some opposition parties, religious groups, civil society and indeed ordinary Senegalese stood firm and demanded an election to choose their next leader. The Constitutional Council later declared that  declaration of the president was unconstitutional and that he cannot stay in power later that 2nd April, the day his current mandate is supposed to end.

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Now it seems that there is consensus that the Senegalese people will go to the polls on 24 March 2024 to vote for the candidate of their choice. There are nineteen candidates in all, including Mr Amadou Ba, the President Macky Sall anointed candidate.

However, some have been denied the chance to be on the polls due to one reason or the other. Popular opposition leader, Mr Ousmane Sonko, did not make the cut but his party is instead fielding Bassirou Diomaye Faye to run for the office. Other rejected candidates include Mr Karim Wade, son of former president Abdoulaye Wade.

These difficult times have tested the democracy and resilience of the Senegalese people to the limits and it seems that they are about to come out of this trial unscathed. It is hoped that they will continue to exercise patience and steadfastness and hold the elections in an atmosphere of peace and stability.

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After all, the peace and stability of Senegal should be the aim and objective of all Senegalese and indeed even the people of the subregion. We wish them a peaceful election!

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