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Presidential election in Senegal: 79 candidates register their candidacies

Seventy-nine people filed their candidacy for the February 2024 presidential election in Senegal before the deadline of Tuesday evening (midnight local time and GMT), according to the Senegalese daily Le Soleil.

The number of applications submitted to the Constitutional Council has not been made public, but Le Soleil explains that the Caisse des dépôts et consignations, the body that receives the deposit cheques of 30 million FCFA (45,000 euros) required to run for the presidency, received 79 applications.

The applications include those of the main favourites for the 25 February 2024 election: Amadou Ba, a member of the ruling coalition and Senegal’s current prime minister, imprisoned opposition figure Ousmane Sonko, former Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall, Karim Wade (son of former president Abdoulaye Wade) and Idrissa Seck, who came second in the 2019 presidential election.

President since 2012, Macky Sall announced in July that he would not run for another term. He has appointed Amadou Ba to represent the majority.

The Senegalese administration has refused to issue the necessary documents for a candidacy to the representative of Mr Sonko, the central figure in a standoff with the state that has lasted more than two years and given rise to several episodes of deadly unrest.

However, Ousmane Sonko, 49, has submitted his candidacy to the Constitutional Council, Ousseynou Ly, the head of his party’s communications unit, told AFP, without giving further details.

Mr Sonko, who has been in prison since the end of July on various charges, including calling for insurrection, denounces this case and others in which he has been implicated as plots to keep him out of the presidential election.

In mid-December, a judge revived his candidacy by ordering his reinstatement on the electoral roll, confirming a decision handed down in October by the court of Ziguinchor (south) which had been overturned by the Supreme Court. The State’s judicial agent lodged an appeal against this decision on Tuesday, according to Le Soleil.

The Constitutional Council is due to announce the list of presidential candidates by 20 January at the latest.

The pre-campaign and the campaign will begin on 5 January and 4 February 2024 respectively, the Conseil national de régulation de l’audiovisuel (CNRA) said in a press release on Tuesday.

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