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Senegal President Macky Sall Announces March 24 As New Presidential Election Date, Dissolves Cabinet

The election was postponed due to issues with the candidate list and corruption allegations against two council members

President Macky Sall of Senegal has declared March 24 as the new date for the presidential election, as announced during a meeting with the council of ministers at the presidential palace on Wednesday.

The decision comes after the initial scheduling of the presidential election on February 25 was indefinitely postponed by Sall just 15 days before the commencement of political campaigns.

President Sall, citing corruption allegations against two members of the constitutional council and issues with the candidate list, explained the reasons behind the postponement.

This move faced opposition from members of the political opposition, who considered it an “institutional coup” aimed at extending Sall’s mandate beyond constitutional limits.

The contentious decision also led to widespread protests and a nationwide internet service shutdown.

In February, the Senegalese constitutional council, responsible for screening presidential candidates, labelled the election postponement as “illegal.” However, in a recent communique by the council of ministers, they stressed the importance of ensuring Sall’s mandate is neither “reduced nor lengthened according to political circumstances.”

The statement further highlighted the president’s transmission of a referral to the constitutional council, seeking opinion on various matters related to the national dialogue, including setting the election date, examining presidential candidacies, and outlining arrangements for the expiration of the president’s mandate on April 2, 2024.

In tandem with the announcement of the election date, President Sall dissolved his entire cabinet, as his tenure is set to conclude on April 2.

Additionally, he removed Amadou Ba, who is currently vying for the presidential position under the ruling coalition, from the position of prime minister.

Sall then appointed Sidiki Kaba, a former minister of home affairs, as the new prime minister of Senegal.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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