Senegal’s ruling coalition will take 125 of 165 seats in parliament, the body counting votes said Saturday, confirming an expected landslide for supporters of President Macky Sall ahead of a 2019 re-election bid. The results of the July 30 legislative elections were published by the National Vote Counting Commission (CNRV) through the public APS news agency, and though official still need to be validated by the country’s constitutional council. The presidential coalition Benno Bokk Yaakaar (BBY) took 49.48 percent of votes in Senegal’s list system, while the coalitions of ex-president Abdoulaye Wade and Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sall trailed massively, delivering them 19 seats and seven seats respectively.
Senegal voted in a tense general election Sunday, with ex-president Abdoulaye Wade accusing his successor of engineering problems with the ballot to thwart an opposition victory. The vote to elect a new parliament is seen as a test run for President Macky Sall ahead of a 2019 presidential election and follows a campaign marred by violence. The first results are due early on Monday in the west African nation, where more than 6.2 million people are registered to vote. There were hours-long delays to voting in several places, and some voters complained of being left off the electoral rolls. “I’m going home. I’ve checked at several polling stations and my name doesn’t figure anywhere. However I normally vote here,” complained Souleye Tine in Dakar’s working-class Medina neighbourhood.
At least hundreds of Senegalese voters were prevented from casting their ballots in parliamentary elections on Sunday because of delays in issuing identity cards, voters and officials said. In an embarrassing turn for one of West Africa’s most stable democracies, voters were left off voting lists at polling stations or told they did not have the right documents to vote. Opposition leaders have criticized President Macky Sall for trying to stamp out political opposition in a contentious campaign.
On March 20, 38 percent of Senegalese voters participated in a constitutional referendum that President Macky Sall chose to initiate halfway through his first presidential term. Of those who voted, 63 percent approved proposed amendments to Senegal’s constitution that were promoted by the president and his ruling coalition as 15 major propositions “to modernize the political regime, reinforce good governance and consolidate rule of law.” The propositions included reducing the presidential term from seven to five years, lowering barriers to independent candidacy in all types of elections, designating the leader of the largest parliamentary party as “head of opposition” and increasing the number of Constitutional Council members while diversifying their mode of appointment. These amendments might further democratic consolidation in Senegal, which has long enjoyed a reputation as a beacon of democracy in the region. But the politics of the referendum have been more complex than a mere “up or down” vote on strengthening certain aspects of Senegalese democracy.
Senegal: Sall Maneuvers for Re-Election in Senegal With Term-Limit Referendum Win | World Politics Review
March 20, a day some analysts dubbed “Africa’s Super Sunday,” included a referendum in Senegal on the question of whether to reduce presidential terms from seven to five years. By the next day, both the press and the government were projecting a sweeping victory for the “yes” camp. The divisions surrounding the vote may seem strange at first: President Macky Sall and his supporters favored the reduction, while opposition parties opposed it. Sall emerges from the referendum battle politically strengthened. He can put a nagging controversy behind him, and he positions himself to approach the next election on his own terms. The issue of presidential term limits looms large across Africa, but it has unusual parameters in Senegal. Elsewhere, the issue centers on the question of term limits, while in Senegal there has been controversy about both limits and length. Sall’s predecessor, Abdoulaye Wade, was elected to a seven-year term in 2000, but a new constitution in 2001 reduced the length of subsequent presidential terms to five years. Wade was re-elected in 2007, and the following year Senegal’s National Assembly approved a constitutional amendment reverting to seven-year presidential terms. Wade then went back on an earlier pledge and ran again in 2012, claiming that the constitutionally imposed two-term limit, passed in 2001, did not apply to his first term. That controversy was settled at the ballot box rather than in the courts, with Sall’s victory, but the issue of term length has lingered in Senegal.
Senegalese residents on Sunday voted on a constitutional referendum that could see sweeping constitutional reforms including a reduction of presidential powers and terms from seven to five years, on a continent where many leaders try to hold onto power. More than 5 million people are expected to vote Sunday to determine if 15 reforms will be adopted, according to the election commission. The proposed changes include measures to strengthen the National Assembly, improve representation for Senegalese abroad, provide greater rights for the opposition and boost participation of independent candidates in elections. “We are a modern African democracy. Today in Africa, many countries impose mandates. Here we are giving referendums for which people can say yes or no,” said voter Mamadou Diagne, 58, a human resources representative at an oil company. “It’s very satisfying to be a Senegalese today.” Diagne said all of the reforms represent advancement.
The political barometer in Senegal is getting higher and tenser by the day as the country approaches a crucial referendum scheduled to be held on March 20 on 15 proposals for amendment of the Constitution submitted by President Macky Sall. It would be recalled that during his campaign for the presidential elections in 2012, President Sall…
Senegal’s new President Macky Sall has won a huge majority in legislative elections, official results show. His Benno Bokk Yakaar (United in Hope) coalition won 119 of the 150 seats. The Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) of former President Abdoulaye Wade gained only 12 seats, while a breakaway PDS faction won four seats. After 12 years in power, Mr Wade was defeated by Mr Sall in March’s tense elections which saw at least six people killed in anti-Wade protests.
A coalition backing new Senegalese President Macky Sall was poised to win majority seats in parliament, according to provisional results reported by local media on Sunday after legislative elections in the west African country. Early counts reported by Senegal’s APS news agency showed that Sall’s Alliance for the Republic party (APR) and the Benno Bokk Yakaar coalition were leading in several constituencies across the country. Results on APS’s website showed that the leading coalition had won the vote in several major districts including Thies, Kaolack, St. Louis and the capital Dakar. Complete provisional results are expected by Tuesday.
Senegal’s President Macky Sall is seeking to win a parliamentary majority in a July 1 election to push ahead with plans to combat corruption and cut government spending. Sall, 51, leads the Benno Bokk Yakaar coalition that’s running for the National Assembly’s 150 seats. The main challengers are the Parti Democratique Senegalaise, headed by ex-President Abdoulaye Wade, and the Bokk Gis Gis coalition led by the current head of the parliament’s upper house, Pape Diop. The president needs control of parliament to help implement changes, such as audits of government departments, that he’s made since defeating 86-year-old Wade in a March presidential election, said Abdou Fall, a Senegal analyst at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, South Africa.
Campaigning begins in Senegal on Sunday ahead of next month’s legislative polls, with the former ruling party crying foul over corruption probes launched against key members after the election of President Macky Sall. Twenty-four lists of parties and party coalitions are contesting the July 1 elections, in which voters will pick 150 lawmakers for a five-year mandate. The polls mark the first popularity test for Sall, who won the March 25 presidential election run-off against Abdoulaye Wade, ending his 12 years in power. Sall’s presidential coalition is favourite to win the legislative polls. But the former ruling Democratic Party of Senegal (PDS) has accused the new administration of harassing its members in the run-up to the elections.
Senegal’s new president won the runoff election in a landslide, garnering nearly twice as many votes as the incumbent of 12 years, according to provisional results released Tuesday. Senegalese officials announced that Macky Sall had won 65.80 percent of ballots cast in Sunday’s runoff ballot, benefiting from a united opposition in the second round of voting. Incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade won 34.20 percent of the vote — slightly less than his percentage in the first round last month. It marked a sharp drop-off from the last presidential race in 2007, when he easily won the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff. “It’s a landslide victory for President Macky Sall,” said Mbaye Ndiaye, who represents the opposition coalition that supported Sall in the runoff.
Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade accused the foreign powers that lined up against his bid for a third term of being dupes on Sunday after casting his ballot in the West African state’s most contentious poll in its recent history. The 85-year-old leader, whose bid to extend his rule triggered deadly street riots in the normally peaceful country ahead of a February first round, was urged by the United States and France not to run. He is expected to face a tough challenge from rival Macky Sall, a former ally and prime minister who has won the support of Senegal’s myriad opposition parties since taking second place in the February vote.
Senegalese superstar Youssou Ndour, who has lent his golden voice to politics, hit the campaign trail a week before run-off polls to rally support for presidential challenger Macky Sall. Ndour, along with all 12 presidential candidates who fell out of the country’s electoral race in a first round of voting, are campaigning hard for Sall, to block a controversial third term bid by 85-year-old incumbent Abdoulaye Wade. The Grammy-award winning artist has been at the forefront of this campaign since his own attempt to run for office was thwarted by the constitutional court which said he did not have enough signatures supporting his candidacy.
Police fired teargas as thousands of people protest in one of Dakar’s central squares, Place de L’Obelisque. They are calling for President Abdoulaye Wade’s to drop his plan to run for a third term as president of Senegal on February 26. The demonstrators – most of them young – are voicing their opposition to the Friday decision of the Constitutional Court to allow the incumbent president to stand for a third term. Police responded as dark fell and youths began throwing stones. Police also are firing cannons of hot water on the crowd. All the leaders of the opposition are attending the rally, as well as invalidated candidate Youssou N’Dour, who made a speech to the passionate crowd encouraging peace – and telling the crowd that Senegal is “our nation” and that they should not spoil it.
There are multiple levels to politics in Senegal, one of the oldest — and until recently, most successful — African democracies. There are the power plays and massive government projects reported on by the international media, but also a parallel system of religious affiliations, cultural networks, and tribal ties, little seen by outsiders. To understand the headlines, you need to delve into the latter. The big news this week is that Abdoulaye Wade, Senegal’s geriatric president, is breathing a sigh of relief. The constitution says he can only run for two consecutive terms, but on Friday the constitutional court of this West African country ruled that this did not apply to him. It also decided that Youssou N’Dour, the global pop superstar and the country’s greatest export, who had thrown his hat into the ring, was not eligible to run. Violent protests have flared, in Dakar and elsewhere, in response to the decision and at least three people have been reported dead. Once regarded as one of the most progressive and democratic of African countries, Senegal’s stability is under threat with opposition leaders calling for “popular resistance.”
Senegal’s highest court ruled just after midnight on Monday that the West African country’s aging leader was eligible to run for a third term in next month’s election, rejecting appeals filed by the opposition and eliminating the last legal avenue for challenging President Abdoulaye Wade’s candidacy. The court also rejected the appeal of music icon Youssou Ndour, stating that his candidacy was invalidated because he did not file enough valid signatures. The opposition has called on the country’s increasingly disenfranchised population to rise up against Wade, and protests are expected this week. When the constitutional court issued its initial ruling Friday and approved Wade’s third-term bid, angry youths clashed with security forces, stoning a police officer to death.
Senegal anxiously awaits a ruling Friday on whether President Abdoulaye Wade can seek a third term in office, with fears of violence rising as the opposition threatens to defy a protest ban. Amnesty International warns in a new report that the nation is at a crossroads ahead of a tumultuous election period and the potential for violence high as the 85-year-old leader bids for a third shot as leader. Some 20 presidential candidates, including Grammy-award winning singer Youssou Ndour, will have submitted their candidacies to the Constitutional Council for the February 26 presidential election by Thursday night.
Although N’Dour has only an outside chance of winning, the answer is yes he does – for at least two reasons. As N’Dour himself points out, his entry into the Feb. 26 race will guarantee a degree of international media exposure that the election otherwise would not have had. That may in turn mean there will be closer scrutiny of the kind of irregularities in voting procedures that have been a feature of recent African elections. Put simply, it will be harder for anyone to rig the poll.
A “very large” European Union observer delegation is headed for Senegal to monitor the country’s tightly-contested February election, a diplomat has said. Local radio quoted France’s ambassador to Senegal Nicolas Normand as saying that the size of the delegation was a reflection of the political risk seen ahead of the west African country’s February 26 election. “The delegation is very large because there is ‘high risk’ on the political landscape ahead of the polls,” said Mr Normand.
Presidential politics in Senegal is in full swing now that President Abdoulaye Wade’s party made official his controversial bid for a third term in the February elections. The announcement has re-ignited a six-month-old opposition movement.
President Wade’s Senegalese Democratic Party [PDS] chose a controversial date to announce a controversial decision. The party confirmed that the president is its candidate for the February 26 election at a rally on Friday, which is the six-month anniversary of one of his biggest political defeats. It was on June 23 – in the face of protests and riots – that Wade was forced to withdraw a proposed constitutional referendum to make it easier for him to win the upcoming election in the first round.
Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade backed down on a proposed change to the country’s electoral law on Thursday after the bill sparked running clashes between riot police and protesters in the capital.
Wade’s rivals said the proposed change would have guaranteed his re-election against a fragmented opposition in a February poll and had threatened a popular uprising over it in a country long seen as an island of stability in West Africa. Analysts said the reversal showed how effectively the opposition and civil society groups could mobilise anti-Wade sentiment amid simmering social tensions.
Senegal’s ruling party plans to change the constitution to lower the percentage of votes a candidate needs to win an election and to create the office of vice president, the government spokesman said Tuesday.
The changes are being introduced just eight months ahead of the 2012 national election, prompting opposition leaders to deride the proposal as a “constitutional coup.” They said the amendment would favor incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade and his unpopular son.