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Senegal: Forum organized by Macky Sall advocates for presidential elections after April 2

A forum convened by Senegal’s head of state ended Tuesday with a “broad consensus” that presidential elections cannot take place before Macky Sall’s term expires on April 2 and that he should remain in office until Senegal’s president takes power. his successor, many participants told AFP.

These conclusions are diametrically opposed to the demands of the opposition and parts of civil society, which form a broad front demanding the holding of the presidential elections, which were supposed to take place last Sunday, before April 2.

These actors boycotted a “national dialogue” organized by the president on Monday and Tuesday in the new town of Diamniadio to try to agree on an election date and present the country, known as one of the most stable in Africa, to the West. after one of the worst crises the country has experienced in decades.

For the elections in July?

The commission’s work on the date led to a near-universal consensus that the vote could not take place before April 2, four members said. Six members of another post-April 2 organizing commission also reported “broad consensus,” this time that Macky Sall, elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2019 but not a candidate in 2024, should have remained in office . until the inauguration of his successor.

Participants proposed holding elections in July, the same sources told AFP. They reported the content of the discussions, not the content of a written document, the formatting of which was not specified.

Both commissions must present their conclusions to the head of state. There was no indication of when he would rule. Senegal’s president said last week that if consensus was reached, he would “immediately” issue a decree convening voters. On Monday, he referred to the onset of the monsoon season in June/July, citing several factors that would make it difficult to conduct voting quickly. Starting from Ramadan, early March.

Upcoming constitutional issues

In recent days, Senegal’s president has said several times that he will step down on April 2. But he cleared the way for an extension on Monday night, saying he was willing to “stay one more time, even if it’s not my choice (…) because I’m in a hurry to get this over with and leave.”

If approved by the head of state, the recommendations for “dialogue” promise to be a source of great irritation for the front that has been formed since Macky Sall issued a last-minute decree to postpone negotiations on February 3, causing shock waves. The suppressed demonstrations resulted in four deaths and dozens of arrests.

On February 15, the Constitutional Council vetoed the transfer. A possible extension of Macky Sall’s mandate risks raising constitutional issues: the Council wrote that he must leave on April 2.

Maki Sall is stalling for time?

The anti-delay front suspects the president is stalling, either to gain an advantage on his side because things will look bad for him in the presidential election, or to cling to power after his mandate expires.

Seventeen of the 19 candidates chosen by the Constitutional Council in January boycotted the national dialogue. They are also concerned that the “dialogue” will start reviewing applications from scratch.

Amar Thioun and Mamadou Lamine Mane, two members of one of the commissions, reported broad consensus on a “partial renewal of the list of candidates.”

Source: Le Parisien

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