US Calls For Timely Election In Senegal, Welcomes Court Ruling Against Vote Delay

US Calls For Timely Election In Senegal, Welcomes Court Ruling Against Vote Delay

By Spy Uganda Correspondent

The United States on Friday welcomed a court decision that overturned the postponement of Senegal’s presidential election to December, and called for a new “free and fair election” to be held as soon as possible.

A bill that pushed back the Feb. 25 poll and plunged the country into electoral uncertainty was overturned on Thursday by Senegal’s Constitutional Council.

Senegalese President Macky Sall on Friday said he would fully abide by the court decision, pledging to hold consultations to organize the vote as soon as possible.

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“We note President Sall’s announcement that he will fully implement the Constitutional Council’s decision and take the necessary steps to organize the election as quickly as possible,” the State Department said in a statement.

“We urge all stakeholders to come together in the spirit of Senegal’s strong democratic tradition to support a free and fair election conducted in a peaceful and timely manner.”

In his Friday statement accepting the council’s ruling, Sall said he would initiate the consultations needed to organise the election as soon as possible.

He did not say what date could be set for the vote, which is scheduled by presidential decree. Some opposition leaders have called for it to be held before April 2, when Sall’s mandate expires.

The opposition and foreign powers had urged the authorities to comply with the constitutional council’s ruling. The move is likely to ease tensions and allay fears of authoritarian overreach in one of coup-hit West Africa’s more stable democracies.

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Senegal had never previously delayed a presidential vote. Sall, 62, is not standing for re-election and has reached the constitutional limit of two terms in power. (mrghealth.com)

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