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POLITICAL CRISIS IN SENEGAL – WACSOF DEMANDS THE RESPECT OF THE CONSTITUTIONAND INVITES ECOWAS AND THE AU TO CLEARLY TAKE THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES

ABUJA FEBRUARY 6, 2024: The West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) is closely following the electoral process in
SENEGAL. WACSOF learned with great surprise and regret of the announced postponement of the date of the presidential
elections, in a televised address on February 03, 2024 by President Macky Sall. The elections were scheduled for February 25,
2024, and the electoral campaign was about to start at midnight on February 04. According to the constitution, the end of
President Macky Sall’s 2nd term is set for April 02, 2024, the date on which he must hand over power to his newly elected
successor. Following the announcement, scenes of violence broke out in the streets and at the National Assembly.
Demonstrations were brutally repressed by the forces of law and order. Mass arrests were made of demonstrators and political
leaders, including Mme AMINATA TOURÉ (former prime minister turned opponent and re-elected presidential candidate), MPs
GUY MARIUS SAGNA, SEYDINA OUMA TOURÉ, CHEICKH ALIOU BEYE, ABASS FALL, PROF DAOUDA NDIAYE (leader
of a citizens’ movement and qualified presidential candidate).
In the mean time, Mobile Internet was cut without forgetting the withdrawal of the broadcasting license of WALFADJIRI TV.
During a session of the national assembly on February 5, 2014, opposition deputies were evacuated from the premises of the
national assembly by the Senegalese army. This evacuation was followed by the vote, without the opposition parliamentarian,
of postponement of the presidential elections to December 15 2024, de facto extending the mandate of President Macky Sall
beyond the limits prescribed by the constitution of Senegal
For several months, WACSOF has noted a continual deterioration of the political climate which is reflected in a radicalization
of political positions, a judicialization of political relations and a skyrocketing level of violence in SENEGAL. WACSOF wishes
to recall that in addition to being required to respect the AFRICAN CHARTER ON DEMOCRACY, ELECTIONS AND
GOVERNANCE (ACDEG), SENEGAL is a signatory to the ECOWAS PROTOCOL ON DEMOCRACY AND GOOD
GOVERNANCE (Protocol A/SP1 /12/01 on Democracy and Good Governance / Supplementary to the Protocol relating to the
Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security / DEC 2001), in particular the
following extracts:
ARTICLE 2

  1. No substantial changes will be made to electoral laws during the six (6) months preceding the elections, except with the consent of the majority
    of political actors.
  2. All elections are organized on the dates or periods fixed by the Constitution or electoral laws.
    ARTICLE 22: The use of weapons to disperse non-violent meetings or demonstrations is prohibited. Whenever a demonstration becomes violent, only
    the use of minimal and/or proportionate force is authorized.
    In view of the above, the WACSOF
  3. Condemns any act, both civil and military, of violation of the constitution and existing legal frameworks
  4. Calls on the Senegalese authorities to be the light that protects the constitutional order
  5. Recalls that the postponement of the presidential election places Senegal on an unprecedented and dangerous path
    away from the constitution, which threatens its democracy and would thus undermine decades of progress in this island
    of democracy in Africa. Contempt for the constitution is one of the stages preceding dictatorship
  6. Calls on the authorities to do their utmost to maintain the electoral calendar which respects the constitution
  7. Calls on the authorities to open civic space, digital space, media space and political space
  8. Calls on ECOWAS and the AFRICAN UNION to side with the people by clearly and firmly taking their responsibilities
    while avoiding variable treatment in the face of any act of violation of the constitutional order, both civil and military.
  9. Calls on Civil Society and stakeholders to remain mobilized and play their roles peacefully for a peaceful resolution
  10. Remains seized of the Senegalese situation and affirms its availability to work with ECOWAS and any other stakeholder
    for a peaceful resolution of the crisis thus unnecessarily opened.
    Contacts: Media@Wacsof-Foscao.Org / +234 810 287 0960 (WhatsApp)
    ABOUT THE WEST AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM (WACSOF)
    With more than 1000 Member Organizations, the WEST AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM (WACSOF) is the umbrella network of the Civil Society in West
    Africa, covering 18 thematic areas, with representation in 15 countries of ECOWAS. WACSOF is the channel for institutionalized dialogue between civil society
    organizations and ECOWAS. WACSOF builds capacity, advocates, mobilizes civil society, engages in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and
    evaluation of policies for a prosperous, stable and peaceful Africa. WACSOF is an excellent channel, a one-stop-shop for systematic engagement between
    institutions and civil society organizations, for impactful results. www.Wacsof-Foscao.Org

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