Senegal elects parliament in test for ruling party’s influence

by | Jul 31, 2022 | World

The opposition hopes the vote will force a coalition with President Macky Sall and curb any ambitions he may hold for a third term.Senegalese voters are heading to the polls for parliamentary elections the opposition hopes will force a coalition with President Macky Sall and curb any ambitions he may hold for a third term in the 2024 presidential vote.
Polling stations will open at 08:00 GMT and close at 18:00 GMT on Sunday.
Approximately seven million voters are eligible to elect 165 deputies in the National Assembly amid a politically tense atmosphere in the West African nation.
Violent protests broke out last year after Sall’s main opponent, Ousmane Sonko, was arrested on rape charges, and more than a dozen people were killed.
Sonko, who came in third in the 2019 election, denies the allegations and his supporters have been vocal about their opposition to the president.
This year, he and another of Sall’s key opponents were disqualified as candidates, which sparked more widespread anger and protests in which three people died in June.

Senegal, with a population of 17 million, is known for its stability in a region that has seen coups in three countries since 2020 and where leaders have changed laws to remain in power for third terms.
Sunday’s election will give a clearer indication of what could happen in 2024.
Even though Sonko’s candidacy was rejected by the Constitutional Council, he has organised opposition supporters across Senegal.
A victory for the opposition “would be synonymous with the rejection of a possible third candi …

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