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Senegal

Monthly Event Reports

March 2024 | Legislature approves amnesty covering preceding three years
Election flag

On 6 March, the National Assembly of Senegal passed a law that provides a general amnesty for acts committed during protests and political events during the preceding three years. This law was approved in a tumultuous context that included the cancellation and rescheduling of the presidential election – a contest in which potential candidates had faced legal proceedings. The law benefits some opposition politicians, including the eventual winner of the presidential election, Bassirou Diomaye Faye and former leader of the African Patriots of Senegal for Work, Ethics and Fraternity (Patriotes africains du Sénégal pour le travail, l’éthique et la fraternité, PASTEF), Ousmane Sonko. However, the law also protects government officials involved in the deaths of protestors. Human rights advocates have criticised the law for providing impunity to those who were involved in the deaths of protestors. The law was promulgated on 13 March, and on 14 March Sonko and Faye were released from prison – 10 days before the election.

February 2024 | Controversy over election date, Constitutional Council rules it must go forward

On 3 February, President Macky Sall announced that the elections planned for 25 February would not take place. On 6 February, after chaotic scenes in the National Assembly during which opposition lawmakers were forcibly removed from the chamber, the legislature passed a law setting a new election date of 15 December. This postponement of the electoral process followed many months of controversy over the eligibility of several leading politicians in Senegal to run for the office of president. The Constitutional Council had released the list of eligible candidates on 21 January, excluding both Ousmane Sonko (due to criminal convictions) and Karim Wade (due to allegations that he holds French citizenship). However, opposition parties filed legal challenges to the postponement of the election, and on 15 February, the Constitutional Council ruled that the delay in holding the election was unconstitutional, and that the election should take place as soon as possible. On 16 February, President Sall pledged to implement the Constitutional Council’s ruling ‘without delay.’

July 2023 | President Macky Sall announces he will not run for a third term
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Senegal's 2024 presidential election continued to motivate politics in the country in July 2023. President Macky Sall announced that he will not seek a third term in office. He had publicly entertained the possibility of running again in 2024, claiming that the revision of the constitution in 2016 had effectively reset presidential term limits. Leaders including the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the Secretary General of the United Nations described Sall’s decision not to seek a third term as a positive example in the region. Also in July, opposition politician Ousmane Sonko was arrested and faced further criminal charges. Sonko was charged with nine serious offences, including plotting an insurrection and criminal association with terrorists. Sonko has been a frontrunning candidate for the 2024 presidential election, but his past convictions may disqualify him.

June 2023 | Unrest and deaths after opposition politician convicted of ‘corrupting youth’

Prominent opposition politician Ousmane Sonko’s popularity has faced multiple criminal and civil trials in 2023. A criminal conviction could prevent his candidacy in the 2024 presidential elections. In the first proceeding, Sonko was convicted in May of defamation. In June, Sonko was acquitted of charges of rape and uttering death threats but convicted of ‘corrupting youth’ (meaning using his position of power to have sex with a person who is less than 21 years old) and sentenced to two years in prison. He has appealed the first conviction, but as the second trial was conducted in absentia, the verdict cannot be appealed. While Sonko was not immediately arrested, there was significant unrest when news of the conviction broke on 1 June. At least 15 people were killed in clashes between Sonko’s supporters and the police.

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GSoD Indices Data 2013-2022

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Basic Information

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Population Tooltip
17 196 308
System of government
Presidential system
Head of government
Prime Minister Sidiki Kaba (since 2024)
Head of government party
Alliance for the Republic
Electoral system for lower or single chamber
Parallel
Women in lower or single chamber
46.1%
Women in upper chamber
Not applicable
Last legislative election
2022
Effective number of political parties Tooltip
3.45
Head of state
President Macky Sall
Selection process for head of state
Direct election (two-round majority)
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) date
05/11/2018
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) percentage of recommendations supported
89.11%
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Human Rights Treaties

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State Party State party
Signatory Signatory
No Action No action
United Nations Human Right Treaties
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
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International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
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International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
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Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
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Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
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Convention on the Rights of the Child
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International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
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International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 
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International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
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International Labour Organisation Treaties
Forced Labour Convention
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Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
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Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
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Equal Remuneration Convention
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Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
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Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
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Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
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Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
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Regional Treaties
African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights
State Party
in
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Performance by category over the last 6 months

Representation neutral Representation
Oct 2023
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Representation neutral Rights
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Representation neutral Rule of law
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Representation neutral Participation
Oct 2023
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Global State of Democracy Indices

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Explore the indices
Representation
Representation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rights
Rights
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rule of Law
Rule of Law
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Participation
Participation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4

Factors of Democratic Performance Over Time

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