The African Union and ECOWAS have called on Senegalese authorities to expedite the holding of the presidential elections in the country following their postponement indefinitely by President Macky Sall.
President Sall on Friday postponed the elections that were set for February 25 citing a dispute over the candidate list, after the Constitutional Council last month excluded key opposition members such as Karim Wade and Ousmane Sonko, who has been jailed.
“I will initiate an open national dialogue to bring together the conditions for a free, transparent and inclusive election in a peaceful and reconciled Senegal. These troubled conditions could seriously undermine the credibility of the ballot by sowing the seeds of pre- and post-electoral disputes,” the President said,.
AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki in a statement on Sunday said he learned of the postponement of the presidential elections with concern, particularly the political situation in the country.
“The President of the Commission invites the competent national authorities to organize elections as soon as possible, in transparency, peace and national harmony. It strongly encourages all political and social forces to resolve any political dispute through consultation, understanding and civilized dialogue, in strict compliance with the principles which govern the rule of law of which the country has a deep-rooted historical tradition,” the statement said.
On its part, ECOWAS in a statement also expressed concern over the circumstances leading to the postponement of the elections, and called on the authorities to expedite the electoral processes and set a new date.
“The commission further urges the entire political class to prioritize dialogue and collaboration for transparent, inclusive and v=credible elections,” the statement added.