Senegal's presidential candidates kick off campaigns after violent protests over a delay of the vote - 7 minute timer

Senegal’s presidential candidates kick off campaigns after violent protests over a delay of the vote

DAKAR: Presidential candidates in Senegal kicked off their election campaigns on Saturday, following weeks of violent protests throughout the African nation after the vote was delayed. The 19 authorized candidates vying for the highest job now have a shorter interval to rally supporters forward of the March 24 election, anticipated to be probably the most tightly contested race since Senegal gained independence greater than six many years in the past. The latest violent protests have additionally raised considerations for a rustic that was seen as a beacon of democratic stability in West Africa, a area affected by coups and insecurity. President Macky Sall, who’s prevented from working due to time period limits, postponed the election final month, simply weeks earlier than it was to happen on Feb 25. His announcement that the vote would as an alternative be held 10 months from now plunged Senegal into chaos as opposition protests stuffed the streets. Senegal’s highest election authority, the Constitutional Council, rejected Sall’s postponement and ordered the federal government to set a brand new date as quickly as attainable. Authorities spokesman Abdou Karim Fofana earlier this week introduced the brand new date. Aliou Tine, the founding father of the Senegalese suppose tank Afrikajom Heart, mentioned that due to the delay, the candidates with probably the most monetary sources will probably profit from this shorter window. “It’s going to be a hard-fought battle,” mentioned Tine, including that there is no such thing as a clear favourite. A lot of the marketing campaign forward and the vote itself will happen throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when the pious quick from daybreak until nightfall. Ramadan is anticipated to start at sunset on Sunday, relying on the sighting of the moon. Senegal has majority Muslim inhabitants. The front-runners will probably be former Prime Minister Amadou Ba because the ruling occasion’s selection, and imprisoned Bassirou Diomaye Faye, a lesser recognized candidate who gained recognition because the chief of the dissolved PASTEF occasion. Diomaye Faye has been behind bars for practically a yr however is because of be launched in time for elections after the president handed a decree to exonerate political prisoners. He has stepped in for opposition chief Ousmane Sonko, additionally in jail and who has been barred from working. In June, Sonko was charged with corrupting youth and sentenced to 2 years in jail. Among the many different candidates is a former mayor of Dakar, Khalifa Sall, who’s working for the fourth time and one other former prime minister, Idrissa Seck. The one girl candidate is Anta Babacar Ngom, the pinnacle of Sedima, one of many nation’s greatest meals corporations.

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