Senegal to hold presidential election on March 24

Dispute over poll date had created political chaos after President Macky Sall postponed elections originally scheduled for Feb. 25

Voters in Senegal will choose their next president on March 24, President Macky Sall announced Wednesday, signaling an end to weeks of political chaos which engulfed the West African country following the postponement of elections originally scheduled for Feb. 25.

Sall announced the new poll date on the same day the Constitutional Council ruled that it would be unconstitutional to hold the presidential election after April 2, the date marking the end of the current term of the president.

The Council ruled that the election should be held as soon as possible, opposing recommendations of the national dialogue convened by Sall, which had suggested that the election be held in June.

The Council also maintained a list of 19 candidates nominated in January to participate in the presidential election.

Sall said last month that he will step down when his mandate as president ends on April 2.

The president, who has been in power since 2012, announced the indefinite suspension of the Feb. 25 presidential election on Feb. 3, citing a dispute over the candidate list and alleged corruption of constitutional judges, triggering political chaos in which three people were killed.

The National Assembly then passed a bill postponing the vote until Dec. 15 as security forces stormed the building and removed some opposition lawmakers.

But the Senegalese Constitutional Council declared the law postponing the country’s presidential vote to December “unconstitutional” and annulled his decree to delay the poll.


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