Intimidation-free and non-violent environment critical in ensuring peaceful and credible elections in Senegal.
Considered as one of the most stable democracies in Africa, Senegal will be heading to the polls on Sunday, February 24, 2019. This will be the 11th consecutive Presidential elections since the country gained independence from France in 1960. The successful conduct of this election is critical to democratic consolidation in the country.
The West Africa Election Observers Network (WAEON) is worried about the February 11 clashes in Tambacounda between supporters of incumbent President Macky Sall and opposition candidate El hadj Issa Sall, which led to the deaths of two persons. Such violent incidents are unfortunate and the security agencies must bring perpetrators to book. Given that the elections are few days away, WAEON calls on all electoral stakeholders, particularly political party leaders, to act responsibly, exercise restraint, desist from inciting their supporters to violence and conduct themselves peacefully during and after the elections.
Senegal’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) is strongly urged to ensure transparency and impartiality, which are crucial elements in building trust and promoting peaceful and credible elections. WAEON also recognizes the important role the media plays in the electoral process and, thus, urges them to dispel the spread of fake news, that have the potential of undermining the elections. In line with the Declaration of Global Principles for Non-Partisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations, domestic and international election observer groups are reminded to observe the conduct of the elections along these principles embodied in – independence, non-partisanship, fairness and objectivity – to inject credibility in the process.
James Lahai Acting Chairman of WAEON
(For and on behalf of WAEON)