Senegal: Over 6 million to vote in general election

Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sall, who is in jail on corruption charges, is running for a seat in parliament

Senegal: Over 6 million to vote in general election

World Bulletin / News Desk

More than 6 million Senegalese head to the polls on Sunday to elect 165 representatives in the national assembly.

“This election is very unique in the history of Senegal because, the party that wins the majority in parliament will likely produce the next president in 2019,” said Ibrahima Kane of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).

With a population of 15.3 million people, Senegal has been enjoying relative peace and stability for over two decades but this election campaign has been particularly tense.

Opposition parties have alleged that about 55 billion West African Francs ($98 million) have been spent on the election, making it one of the most expensive ever.

“This is also the first time a former president is contesting as a member of parliament whilst another key candidate is in detention,” said Kane.

Of the 47 political movements registered, the most important are the ruling Alliance for Republic Senegal (APR), the main opposition Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) of former President Abdoulaye Wade, and the Manko Thakao opposition coalition of Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sall.

The current national assembly is dominated by “Benno Bokk Yakar”, which means unity for one goal. It used to be a coalition of several parties loyal to the president. But things changed when Khalifa Sall and former Petroleum Minister Alassane Sall left the movement citing unfairness and injustice.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Temmuz 2017, 15:00