Supreme Court Rejects Opposition’s Request, Maintains Presidential Election Date

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Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Senegal refused to reconsider the process for the presidential election scheduled for March 24th, deeming the request from the opposition led by Karim Wade and his allies “inadmissible.” While Karim Wade’s PDS party argued that the announced timeframe for the election was illegal due to being too short, Senegal’s highest court deemed the presidential decree calling for the election to be by the law.

The requests were filed by disqualified presidential candidates, including Karim Wade, and members of their camp. Acceptance of these requests by the Supreme Court would have jeopardized the electoral process.

However, the Court declared the requests “inadmissible,” echoing the arguments of the Attorney General. According to the judiciary and the prosecutor, setting the election date falls within the powers of the president. Furthermore, the Constitutional Council had “full jurisdiction over electoral matters,” and its decisions are not subject to appeal and are binding on the Supreme Court. The Constitutional Council had previously validated the March 24th date for the presidential election after a highly controversial postponement.

This decision marks another setback for Karim Wade and other disqualified candidates who contest the election date, reports our correspondent in Dakar, Juliette Dubois: they are demanding the suspension of the president’s decree convening the electorate on March 24th, and thus the suspension of the election.

For these opponents, the decree convening the electorate violates the electoral code, which provides for a deadline of 80 days to convene voters. They argue that the campaign period is also too short, with candidates having only 12 days instead of 21. Therefore, they have not had the necessary logistical and financial preparation.

If the election proceeds under these conditions, the legitimacy of the future president will be contested, according to the applicants’ lawyers.

This development underscores the ongoing political tensions and legal challenges surrounding the upcoming presidential election in Senegal, highlighting the importance of upholding electoral integrity and adherence to legal procedures.


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