Macky Sall announces he will not run for third term as president of Senegal

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Incumbent Macky Sall has introduced he won’t run for a 3rd time period in Senegal’s presidential election subsequent yr, dousing tensions and ending months of hypothesis.

In a extensively anticipated speech on Monday evening, Sall mentioned his resolution to not run was “lengthy and punctiliously thought of”.

“My resolution is to not be a candidate within the 2024 presidential election, regardless that the structure permits me to run,” Sall mentioned. “Senegal exceeds my particular person and it is stuffed with leaders who can handle it.”

For months many had speculated over whether or not Sall, 61, would search one other time period in workplace. Analysts and critics mentioned such a step would have threatened the integrity of the west African nation’s structure, which limits presidents to 2 phrases.

Protests and riots have damaged out in latest months, with uncertainty over Sall’s intentions and a crackdown on supporters of opposition chief Ousmane Sonko stoking tensions. Senegal is generally one of many area’s thriving democracies.

Sall was first elected in 2012 when he defeated Abdoulaye Wade, the incumbent who was working for a controversial third time period. In 2016, voters additionally authorised a constitutional change proposed by Sall to shorten phrases from seven to 5 years.

Sall served seven years in his first time period and was re-elected in 2019. His allies started arguing final yr that the 2016 referendum reset the clock on his time in workplace and made him eligible to run as a candidate once more subsequent yr.

Sall indicated he may run once more when he instructed the French journal L’Specific in March that “legally talking, the controversy has been settled for a very long time”. However he admitted a “political debate” was being had over whether or not he may run.

On Sunday Sonko, a firebrand extensively seen as the largest challenger to the ruling Alliance for the Republic celebration, known as for protests if Sall have been to determine to run.

“Come out to confront the Macky Sall regime and say that it isn’t as much as him to decide on the candidates that may face one another within the subsequent presidential election,” he mentioned.

Sonko added: “If now we have to place up a combat, it should be definitive. I name on all of the Senegalese folks to face up as one and are available out en masse and this time put an finish to this prison regime.”

Sall’s resolution leaves his celebration searching for a candidate, with whoever emerges presumably going through Sonko.

Nonetheless, Sonko’s standing as a candidate is unsure after he was sentenced final month to 2 years in jail for “corrupting youth”. He was acquitted on extra critical prices of rape and making loss of life threats in opposition to an worker of a therapeutic massage enterprise who had accused him of assaulting her.

The 48-year-old former tax inspector has not been arrested however the conviction complicates his bid to contest the election since electoral regulation bars these with prison convictions from in search of political posts.

Sonko can also be interesting in opposition to a $330,000 wonderful and a six-month suspended sentence after being discovered responsible in March of libel in opposition to the tourism minister.

Sonko and his supporters say his authorized woes are a weaponisation of the justice system to sideline him.

A minimum of 16 folks have been killed in protests that started after Sonko was convicted. Rights teams accused safety forces of a violent crackdown. A minimum of 12 folks additionally died throughout protests that lasted a number of days after Sonko was first arrested in relation to the case in 2021.

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