Senegal will hold a presidential election as soon as possible given that the country’s top election authority has overturned a decree by President Macky Sall to postpone the vote, the government said Friday.
Sall in early February sought to postpone the Feb. 25 election, citing unresolved disputes over who could run, and the National Assembly voted to reschedule it for December 15.
However, the country’s Constitutional Council ruled last Thursday that those moves were unconstitutional and ordered the government to hold the election as soon as possible, presumably allowing enough time for campaigning. The panel acknowledged that February 25 wouldn’t now be feasible but said the government should act quickly.
In a statement on Friday, presidential spokesperson Yoro Dia said that Sall intends to ensure full compliance with the council’s decision and hold the elections as soon as possible, though the government hasn’t yet specified a new date.
Senegal has been seen as one of the region’s most stable democracies, but election disputes have plunged the country into a political crisis that has sparked deadly protests and cuts to mobile internet. At least three people have been killed by security forces and dozens have been injured.
Sall has been accused of trying to delay leaving office, something he denied. Local and international pressure has mounted since the move to delay the vote.
The U.S. Bureau of African Affairs commended the council’s decision “to put Senegal back on track for a timely presidential election.”
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres noted the Constitutional Council’s ruling and the president’s decision and urged all Senegalese parties “to ensure the holding of an inclusive and transparent presidential election within the framework of the constitution of Senegal.
ECOWAS, in a statement, urged President Sall to stick to the election timetable and requested the “competent authorities” set a date for the presidential election in accordance with the council’s decision.
It’s unclear when a date would be set and whether there would be changes to who is allowed to run.
Sall, who came to power in 2012, is set to finish his two terms on April 2. According to the constitution, elections have to be held 30–45 days before his mandate ends.

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