Senegalese Democratic Party pushes to postpone presidential election

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The Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) said it requested the postponement of the February 25 presidential election via a bill submitted to parliament, citing incidents it alleged had compromised the transparency and integrity of the vote.

A postponement of the presidential poll would be unprecedented for Senegal, which has seen four largely peaceful transitions of power via the ballot box since independence from France in 1960.

PDS, the former ruling party of ex-President Abdoulaye Wade, did not propose a new date for the election.

Its candidate, Wade’s son Karim, was disqualified from the race to succeed President Macky Sall.

The constitutional court ruled Wade was a dual citizen when he submitted his candidacy and therefore ineligible.

In a statement, PDS listed concerns with the constitutional court’s decision-making, the elimination of candidates and other issues that it said had derailed the race.

The push for a later vote “is part of our desire to preserve the integrity and transparency of the process,” it said.

It was not immediately clear how this proposed bill would be handled by parliament. The ruling coalition, which does not include PDS, has a majority of just one in the 165-seat house.

Tensions have risen in recent weeks over the constitutional council’s decision to exclude prominent contenders such as Wade and opposition firebrand Ousmane Sonko from the running. They say the rules for candidacy were not applied fairly.