Christmas Eve, the Constitutional Council employees in Senegal worked diligently, an unusual occurrence for a weekend, to facilitate the submission of candidacy files by presidential hopefuls. The Constitutional Council, responsible for receiving these crucial documents, opened its doors exceptionally to enable candidates to fulfill their filing formalities.
Around the narrow street housing the Constitutional Council headquarters in the city center, there is no bustling crowd. Only a handful of journalists keenly observe the comings and goings of politicians in front of the gate, guarded by gendarmes.
It was indeed an extraordinary Sunday, as expressed by Amadou Sow, the representative of presidential candidate Abdourahmane Diouf, a former minister: “In any exceptional situation, exceptional measures are required. Presidential elections occur only once every five years. The filing deadline ends on the 26th, with a long weekend just before, including Saturday the 23rd, Sunday the 24th, and Christmas Day, a public holiday. We appreciate the decision of the Constitutional Council.”
The extraordinary opening of the Constitutional Council registry during the Christmas weekend is also applauded by Cheikh Ahmed Tidiane Youm, the representative of the PUR party, whose candidate is Aliou Mamadou Dia. “The fact that they are working and that it is open for three days over the weekend is a very positive thing. It even allows parties that need to regularize their documents to do so within the set timeframe.”
Currently, less than ten candidates have presented themselves to the Constitutional Council. Representatives of Amadou Ba from the ruling coalition, as well as Ousmane Sonko, an opposition figure currently in prison, whose candidacy is anticipated to be maintained, and the representative of Khalifa Ababacar Sall, former mayor of Dakar, have not yet submitted their files. All candidates have until midnight tomorrow, Tuesday, at the latest, to complete this crucial step. The unfolding events surrounding these filings contribute to the anticipation and dynamics of Senegal’s upcoming presidential election.