Senegalese President Macky Sall Says Controversial Third-Term Constitutional
Senegalese President Macky Sall on Monday rejected all the accusations that claim that it would be unconstitutional for him to seek a controversial third presidential term, reported France 24.
According to the opposition, the Senegalese Constitution prohibits Sall from running for the third time in the next presidential election, scheduled for February 2024. The opposition continues to allege that he wants to override the constitution to seek a third term.
Notably, Senegal’s constitution was amended in 2016 to shorten presidential terms to five years from seven. It clearly states that no one can exercise more than two consecutive terms.
But, in an interview with the French magazine L’Express posted online on Monday, Sall argued that when the Constitutional Council was consulted before the revision, it considered his first term to be outside the scope of the reform.
“Legally speaking, the debate has been settled for a long time,” he said in the interview. “Now, should I run for a third term or not? It’s a political debate, I admit it.”
Sall, who has not yet officially declared if he is contesting in the next election, said that he has an agenda, a job to do and that he will make his position known, first to his supporters, then to the Senegalese people when the right time comes.
The Senegalese president’s critics also accuse his government of using the courts to sideline the opposition politician, Ousmane Sonko, who is currently facing two court cases that could threaten his eligibility for the election. The opponents accuse him of seeking to weaken the competition with false accusations and political trials before the election.
Sonko claims the charges are part of a plot to tarnish his image and torpedo his chances of winning the election. He came third in the 2019 presidential elections and has since gained support, particularly among the youth.