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.
Political demonstrations in Dakar are routinely halted by a heavy police presence and the liberal use of tear gas. And Khalifa Sall, the popular mayor of the capital, Dakar, and one of Sall’s main competitors, was jailed in March for embezzling public funds, charges that Sall says are politically motivated.
The central problem in Sunday’s vote was the delay in issuing biometric identity cards. Interior Minister Abdulaye Daoudada Diallo said early last week that 30 percent of the cards had still had not been distributed.
That caused an outcry from opposition politicians and voters who had spent weeks trying to obtain the new cards so they could vote. Sall asked the constitutional council to let voters use their card registration receipts and passports.
Full Article: Senegal parliamentary elections marred by voting problems.