*Photo: President Macky Sall of Senegal *
DAKAR, SENEGAL— Senegalese President Macky Sall on Saturday announced the indefinite postponement of the presidential election scheduled for February 25, hours before official campaigning was due to start.
In an address to the nation, Sall said he signed a decree abolishing a previous measure that set the date as lawmakers investigate two Constitutional Council judges whose integrity in the election process has been questioned.
“I will begin an open national dialogue to bring together the conditions for a free, transparent and inclusive election,” Sall said without giving a new date.
It is the first time a Senegalese presidential election has been postponed.
A November 2023 decree signed by Sall fixed the election for February 25, with 20 candidates in the running but without two major opposition figures.
Sall had repeatedly said he would hand over power in early April to the winner of the vote.
After announcing he would not run for a third term as president, Sall designated Prime Minister Amadou Ba from his party as his would-be successor.
The Constitutional Council has excluded dozens of candidates from the vote, including firebrand anti-system figurehead Ousmane Sonko and Karim Wade, son of former president Abdoulaye Wade.
Therese Faye, Senegal’s Minister for Community Development, on Friday said she was in favor of postponing the presidential poll for at least six months.
Speaking during an interview with television channel TFM, Faye said the electoral process had been “ruined” by irregularities.
“I’m in favor of postponing the presidential election for at least six months,” she said, adding that she wanted “an inclusive and participatory presidential election”.