Senegal: Presidential Elections Postponed, Protests Ensue
Senegal’s president, Macky Sall, has postponed the country’s presidential election – which was previously scheduled for 25 February – for an indefinite amount of time.
Speaking in a televised address to the nation on Saturday, 3 February, Sall announced that he would be calling off this month’s elections due to a dispute over the eligibility of its candidates.
“I will begin an open national dialogue to bring together the conditions for a free, transparent and inclusive election,” Sall said firmly. A few hours later, the government’s secretary general, Abdou Latif Coulibaly, announced his resignation.
The president has reiterated that he will not be running for a third term; however, the lack of an electoral timetable has sparked concern in the international community. France, the European Union, the West African regional bloc ECOWAS, and the United States of America have all urged Senegal to set a new date as soon as possible.
By the following day, hundreds of people had taken to the streets of the capital of Dakar to protest the decision and the arrest of a major opposition candidate.
The tense situation further escalated when police fired tear gas at pockets of demonstrators located in front of the parliament building.
Image Credit: Source