Senegal’s President Announces March 24 As Election Date

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Senegal’s government has announced that the presidential election would take place on 24 March.

The announcement follows tension in the country after President Macky Sall postponed the election last month, sparking widespread protests.

The president, whose tenure ends on 2 April, had insisted that he did not intend to run for a third term in office.

His opponents had accused him of mounting a constitutional coup.

Senegal has long been seen as one of the most stable democracies in Africa. It is the only country in West Africa that has never had a military coup.

“The President of the Republic informed the Council of Ministers that the date of the presidential election had been set for Sunday 24 March,” the council of ministers said in a statement.

Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, authorities had attempted to postpone the original 25 February poll to December, which resulted in deadly unrest on the streets.

But the Constitutional Council later ruled that the presidential election must take place before 2 April.

Earlier on Wednesday evening, Mr Sall dissolved the government and replaced Prime Minister Amadou Ba with Interior Minister Sidiki Kaba.

This was so that Mr Ba, the ruling coalition’s presidential candidate, could focus on his electoral campaign, the presidency said.

President Sall has served two terms as Senegal’s leader and when he was first elected in 2012 he promised he would not overstay.