FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2024
Washington, DC – On Monday, Senegal’s parliament voted to delay the country’s presidential election to December 15, 2024, extending President Macky Sall’s term by ten months beyond Senegal’s constitutional limits. The vote came after members of the opposition were forcibly removed from Parliament and thereby unable to cast their votes. The vote has been met by controversy with some calling it an ‘institutional’ or ‘constitutional’ coup. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) issued a press release on Tuesday “encourag[ing] the political class to take steps urgently to restore the electoral calendar in accordance with the provisions of Senegal’s Constitution” and also called for “peace and stability” in the country. In a statement issued Tuesday, Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Chair United States Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) condemned President Sall’s “blatant disregard for the Senegalese constitution and flagrant disrespect for the Senegalese people’s support for democracy”, and called for elections to be “held before the end of his […] term.”
Steven Nabieu Rogers, PhD, Executive Director at the Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN) made the following remarks:
- “The Africa Faith and Justice Network urges President Sall to honor the original election date of February 25, 2024. With Senegal being one of the few stable democracies in West Africa, this negative development puts the country’s enviable democratic credentials on the line – in a region experiencing a surge in coups.
- “It is imperative that all arrested opposition officials be released unconditionally and allowed to fully participate in the political process.
- “The unilateral announcement by the President of the delay and expulsion of opposition lawmakers, provides very little room for optimism that Senegal will actually hold a free and fair election under President Sall.
- “The Africa Faith and Justice Network therefore urges the government of Senegal to ensure the safety of all its citizens (including peaceful protesters) to freely exercise their democratic rights and to prevent additional election-related violence.”
Read ECOWAS February 6, 2024 Press Release “ECOWAS Communique on Senegal”
Read Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s press statement “Chair Cardin Statement on Senegalese President Postponing National Elections”
The Africa Faith and Justice Network is a faith-based, non-partisan coalition of 32 US-based religious communities of men and women. Inspired by the Gospel and informed by Catholic Social Teaching, AFJN seeks to educate and advocate for just relations with Africa and to work in partnership with African peoples as they engage in the struggle for justice, peace, and the integrity of creation.
Available for Interview:
Dr. Steven Nabieu Rogers