The postponement of the February 25 Presidential Election in Senegal: An unfortunate but redeemable incident

Keywords : Declarations Peace And Security Senegal

The African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa has been monitoring the political situation in Senegal for a while. It is particularly concerned about the announcement made by President Macky Sall on the 3rd of February 2024, informing the nation of the abrupt postponement of the Presidential Election initially slated for 25 February 2024. This postponement has thrown up an avoidable political crisis.

In PDF: Statement on the postponement of the February 25 Presidential Election in Senegal

Our concern stems from the fact that the peace and political stability of Senegal is avoidably under threat. This threat is against a worrisome political instability strain in the West African sub-region and the continent. We are mindful of the need to preserve Senegal’s excellent record of a fledging, peaceful, inclusive and participatory democracy that has inspired other democracies in the sub-region and continent.

Currently, there is a general feeling in the country that this postponement reeks of excessive political manoeuvring, and it is causing a spike in the loss of trust in the political process and fueling discontentment, anger and protests.
Our affiliates in Senegal have issued a timely, patriotic and reconciliatory message proposing pragmatic ways to remedy the crisis of the postponed elections. Proudly, we have noticed that their call is firmly and rightly anchored on the need to embrace the time-tested mechanism of genuine and inclusive dialogue. We express our strong support for these suggestions and wish to recall them –

  • 1. The urgent convocation of a national dialogue to discuss and resolve contending national political issues.
  • 2. The establishment of a high commission composed of independent and politically non-aligned personalities charged with the task of conducting an inclusive national dialogue and a peaceful, transparent and inclusive presidential election.
  • 3. A call for amnesty for all politically detained persons to be unconditionally released so that they can freely participate in the national dialogue and be able to pursue their legitimate political ambition.
  • 4. The government should make conscious and genuine efforts to ensure that all critical stakeholders, including workers and trade union organisations, are consulted in the national dialogue process.
  • 5. The government should halt and desist from all restive measures against the free and efficient participation of the media and the citizenry in covering and participating in the political process.

We urge the Senegalese government to embrace these suggestions and take swift action to implement them. We are confident that this would rally the people and restore confidence. Whilst we call on all to remain vigilant, we appeal for calm and restraint from all political actors not to heat up the polity. It shall be well. God bless Senegal. God bless Africa.

Akhator Joel ODIGIE
General Secretary
Issued on the 5th of February 2024.

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