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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Senegal - July 2023

President Macky Sall announces he will not run for a third term

President Macky Sall announced in July 2023 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. While Sall’s claims regarding the legality of a third term were never settled by a court, 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.

Sources: Le Monde, Nation Africa, British Broadcasting Corporation

Primary categories and factors
Representation +1 Representation  (+1)
Elected Government

Opposition politician and prominent journalist arrested
Watch flag

Following his earlier convictions on charges of defamation (May) and corruption of youth (June), opposition politician Ousmane Sonko was arrested and faced further criminal charges at the end of July. 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.

Following the latest charges against Sonko, the political party he leads, Patriots of Senegal (PASTEF), was legally dissolved through a decree issued by the Interior Minister.

The day after Sonko’s latest arrest, prominent journalist Papé Alé Niang was also arrested and charged with calling for insurrection. Niang had posted a video on social media discussing Sonko’s case.

Both Sonko and Niang began hunger strikes soon after being arrested.

Sources: Al Jazeera, Reuters, Le Monde, Committee to Protect Journalists, Amnesty International

Primary categories and factors
Representation -1 Representation  (-1)
Free Political Parties
Rights -1 Rights  (-1)
Civil Liberties
Freedom of Expression
Freedom of The Press
Rule of Law 0 Rule of Law  (0)
Personal Integrity and Security

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