ECOWAS Chair Tinubu to Meet Senegal’s Sall Amid Postponed Elections Crisis


ECOWAS Chair Tinubu to Meet Senegal’s Sall

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, also serving as the chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is scheduled to meet with Senegalese President Macky Sall in Dakar on Monday. This visit comes amidst a constitutional crisis in Senegal, triggered by the postponement of the presidential elections originally slated for February 25.

Sall’s decision to delay the elections has plunged Senegal into one of its most severe crises since gaining independence from France in 1960. Protests, marked by clashes between the youth and security forces, have escalated, challenging Senegal’s long-standing reputation for stability and democracy in West Africa, a region recently grappling with coups and unrest.

ECOWAS has called on Senegal, considered one of its most stable members, to adhere to its original election schedule. However, skepticism has arisen regarding the influence of ECOWAS over increasingly defiant member states. The recent emergency talks in Abuja excluded representatives from Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali – nations that withdrew from the bloc in January. Guinea, suspended from ECOWAS due to a coup, was also absent.

The crisis has raised doubts about ECOWAS’s broader role, particularly after its previous warning of military intervention in Niger failed to materialize. Sall attributes the election postponement to a dispute between parliament and the Constitutional Council over disqualified candidates. He aims to initiate a process of “appeasement and reconciliation” and has pledged not to seek a third term, addressing international concerns.

Opposition leaders characterize the delay as a “constitutional coup” and condemn the crackdown on protesters. Senegal’s parliament supported the move, voting to keep Sall in office until his successor assumes power, expected in early 2025. His second term was originally set to conclude on April 2. Campaigners from the Aar Sunu Election group are calling for further protests on Tuesday.


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