Senegal’s Court Annuls President Macky Sall’s Decree To Postpone Election Till December

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The Constitutional Court in Senegal has annulled President Macky Sall’s decree to postpone the election and a contentious bill passed by the parliament moving the election to December.

The Court, which is the highest in the country ruled that the decision to postpone the February 25 elections in the country, is against the nation’s constitution.

It was gathered that widespread protests have gripped the West African country, once considered a bastion of democracy in the region.

However, Mr Sall had announced he was pushing the election back because of what he claimed were concerns over the eligibility of opposition candidates.

His proposal had been backed by 105 out of the 165 MPs. A six-month postponement was originally proposed, but a last-minute amendment extended it to 10 months, or 15 December.

Mr Sall had reiterated that he was not planning to run for office again. But his critics accused him of either trying to cling on to power or unfairly influencing whoever succeeds him.

Opposition candidates and lawmakers, who had filed a number of legal challenges to the bill, will likely feel vindicated by the court’s decision on Thursday evening.

Khalifa Sall, a leading opponent and a former mayor of the capital Dakar, who is not related to the president, had called the delay a “constitutional coup” while Thierno Alassane Sall, another candidate, also no relation, called it “high treason”.

The court said it was “impossible” for the election to be held on the originally intended date of 25 February – just 10 days time – but urged authorities to organise it “as soon as possible”.

Most candidates have not been campaigning since President Sall issued his 3 February decree, hours before campaigns were meant to kick off.

The court decision comes on the same day as several opposition politicians and civil society members were released from prison, in what some in the country viewed as a move to appease public opinion.