Africans Rising condemns the decision of President Macky Sall of Senegal to postpone the presidential election that was due to take place on February 25, 2024. This decision violates the constitution of Senegal, which limits the presidential term to two mandates of five years each and undermines the democratic process and the rule of law in the country.
We recall that President Sall had already attempted to extend his term in 2016 by proposing a constitutional referendum that would reduce the presidential term from seven to five years but would not apply to his current mandate. This proposal was widely rejected by the Senegalese people, who voted in favour of the reduction, but also demanded that it should take effect immediately. President Sall accepted the verdict of the people and pledged to respect the constitution and the will of the people.
The postponement of the February 25th election is a clear attempt by President Sall to cling to power beyond his constitutional limit. In other words, he is trying to achieve by this latest move the same outcome that previous manipulations had intended to achieve. These actions have created a political crisis that threatens the stability and peace of Senegal and the region.
We stand in solidarity with the people of Senegal and join them in calling on President Sall to respect the constitution and the democratic aspirations of the Senegalese people, and to immediately rescind his order to postpone the election.
The African people in Senegal have shown courage and commitment to the values of ethical governance, peace and human rights. We will hold President Sall wholly responsible for any instability occasioned by his political greed.
We take note of the statement issued by ECOWAS as a weak and ineffectual statement. Instead of putting pressure on Sall to reverse his decision, it asks him to set a new date, which effectively endorses his decision. The statement will do nothing to deter other presidents from threading this dangerous path. Without any serious move to prevent civilian coups against constitutions, what moral right would there be to condemn military coups in the region?