Has Democracy Died In Senegal ?

By Paul Ejime |

Senegal, one of the few African countries not to have experienced a military coup since its independence from France in1960, has joined the infamous undemocratic ranks on Monday 5th February.

In a televised parliamentary session on Monday to consider President Macky Sall’s controversial decision to postpone the country’s presidential election fixed for 25th of February, state para-military police (gendarmes) were seen ejecting opposition MPs from the legislative Chambers

This paved the way for the ruling party and former President Abdoulaye Wade’s PDS to approve by 105-1 vote, the plan to postpone the election to December.

Under Senegalese Constitution, Sall’s second mandate ends on the 2nd of April this year.

The country, once applauded for its democratic credentials is enveloped by uncertainty with heightened security presence amid a constitutional crisis.

This could not have come at bad time for ECOWAS, the 15-nation regional bloc, which has been struggling to restore constitutional order in four of it’s member States now governed by the military.

Three of the four have formed a Sahel Defence Coalition and notified ECOWAS of their joint decision to withdrawal from the regional bloc.

Sall only relinquished his bid for a third term after street protests killed more an dozen earlier last year.

The latest controversy followed the disqualification of ex-President Wade’s son Karim Wade from the presidential race over dual nationality and allegations of corruption against members of the Constitutional Council in charge of screening and approval the candidates.

The Counvil has denied the corruption allegations, but instead of allowing the matter to follow a judicial process its was referred to the Parliament, whose decision and President Sall’s cancellation of the 25th Presidential election as civilian constitutional and political coup.

In a twist os irony, the three military juntas withdrawing their countries

from ECOWAS say they are waiting to see ECOWAS’ sanctions against President Sall.

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