Senegalese lawmakers make it possible for opposition candidates to run for office

Aug 7, 2023 | 2023 Elections | 0 comments

After lawmakers approved a measure, two important opposition personalities in Senegal will now be able to compete for president in the country’s upcoming February election.

The vote absolves everyone found guilty, but it also pardons or amnesties them, allowing them to run for office.

Khalifa Sall and Karim Wade, two formidable opponents, are now able to stand.

Interior Minister Antoine Félix Abdoulaye Diome explained in front of the legislature: “The amendment to article L28-3, which permits the convicted person to regain his or her rights by being reintroduced onto the electoral roll after the remainder of the sentence for which a pardon was granted has expired, is only one aspect of the bill that needs to be changed. Beyond this, the national discourse led to numerous advancements.”

Wade, the son of former president Abdoulaye Wade, and Sall, a former Dakar mayor, have both been considered for the next presidential election.

Both were disqualified from the 2019 presidential race due to separate financial charges. Yet, they could now be eligible to run in the election in February.

Yeya Diallo, a member of the presidential majority, lauded the president’s efforts in bringing the law about.

“The goal of this measure is to update the electoral law.

As everyone knows, President Macky Sall started a national conversation that led to a decision to amend the Constitution and the election law.

Macky Sall, the 2019 winner, is serving his second term in office and cannot run again.

The proposition was approved 124 to 1.

Babacar Abba Mbaye, a Taxawou Sénégal and Khalifa Sall’s party member, said it was a significant step in the right direction.

“And what we are seeing right now, with Sonko and others being imprisoned, is nothing more than a democracy that has lost its way.

“Thus, what is taking place today is the start of a correction, and we anticipate that it will continue. Now, however, we are unable to help but feel a sense of pride for all of the Taxawou militants who have stayed devoted to Khalifa.”

As opposition politicians have regularly complained of actions taken against them in the lead-up to the presidential election next year, many observers are hopeful that Saturday’s parliamentary vote would contribute to reducing the tension that has recently been felt in the nation.

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