Macky Sall: The End of Senegal’s Democracy?

On 5 February, the Senegalese Parliament voted to delay the presidential elections scheduled for 25 February until 15 December at the behest of President Macky Sall to investigate the Constitutional Council’s decision to bar certain candidates from running. As anticipated in our previous analysis, the state judiciously targeted the opposition party PASTEF, eliminating Ousmane Sonko from presidential candidacy. With a long-standing history of being the region’s “democratic exception,” accusations levelled at the President Macky Sall speak to deep anxieties about his prolonged and unconstitutional presidential tenure.

This report offers a probabilistic assessment of President Macky Sall’s comportment towards Senegal’s internal unrest, the potential ruling from the Senegalese Constitutional Council, and international response to the electoral crisis.

Key Judgement 1. Opposition unrest will likely grow in the next 6 months unless President Macky Sall provides believable assurances that he does not intend to remain in office past the 2 April term limit and reduces the state security services’ use of violence.

Key Judgement 2.  It is unlikely that Macky Sall will heed the Constitutional Council annulment of the Parliamentary decree.

Key Judgement 3. It is highly likely that international confidence in Senegal’s electoral process will diminish.

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