Senegal Presidential Elections Campaigns Begins

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Following weeks of violent protests across the country after the vote was delayed, Presidential candidates in Senegal has eventually kicked off their election campaigns simultaneously.

All 19 approved presidential candidates now have a shorter period to rally supporters ahead of the March 24 election. The election is expected to be the most tightly contested race since Senegal gained independence more than six decades ago.

Running for the fourth time, the former mayor of Dakar, Khalifa Sall organised a marching caravan through the streets of the capital to begin his campaign.

Former Prime Minister Amadou Ba, who is the ruling party’s choice, and imprisoned Bassirou Diomaye Faye, a lesser known candidate who gained popularity as the chief of the dissolved PASTEF party are the likely front-runners.

Diomaye Faye who has been in prison for nearly a year now is due to be released in time for elections after the president passed a decree to exonerate political prisoners. He will be stepping in for opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, who is also in prison and has been barred from running. Sonko was charged with corrupting youths, and sentenced to two years in prison.

Anta Babacar Ngom, the head of Sedima, one of the country’s biggest food companies stands tall as the only female candidate; however Amadou Ba, the ruling party candidate is yet to launch his campaign.

For a country that used to be seen as a beacon of democratic stability in West Africa, the recent violent protests have undoubtedly raised concerns.

The current president of Senegal, president Macky Sall, who is prevented from running because of term limits, postponed the election last month, a few weeks before the initial date of February 25. His announcement that the election will hold 10 months from now threw Senegal into chaos as opposition protests filled the streets.

The highest election authority in Senegal, the Constitutional Council, kicked against the postponement, and ordered the government to set a new date as soon as possible. Then earlier this week, government spokesman Abdou Karim Fofana announced March 24 as the new date.

That meant that most of the election campaigns ahead, and the vote itself will take place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and Senegal’s population is mostly Muslim.

Who will be the next president of Senegal? What lies ahead of Senegal? IReport news will bring you more information on this story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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