In the night of 29 to 30 January, the Senegalese Constitutional Council confirmed its ruling that President Wade can run for a third term in office in the presidential elections due to take place on 26 February 2012. At the same time Youssou N’Dour and other candidates were barred from standing. The opposition has called for resistance and for renewed demonstrations to be staged all over the country.
Minister of State Cornelia Pieper issued the following statement in Berlin today (31 January):
“It is with concern that I have learned of the violent clashes and the killing of a policeman in Senegal following the Constitutional Council’s ruling on the list of candidates for the presidential elections. We condemn the violence and our sympathy goes out to the dead man’s family.
The Constitutional Council’s decision to reduce the number of candidates to 14 caused outrage among many Senegalese who had rightly hoped to be able to democratically choose among candidates representing the entire political spectrum. The EU is monitoring the election process as a whole and we attach great importance to the election monitors’ findings – also regarding preparations for the elections.
I urge the Senegalese government to ensure that the upcoming elections will be free, fair and peaceful. To achieve this aim it is indispensable that freedom of expression is respected, that the rights of the opposition and of civil society are upheld and that the right to peaceful assembly is guaranteed.”
On 27 January, the Constitutional Council, Senegal’s supreme court, published the list of candidates authorized to run in the presidential elections on 26 February. At the same time it confirmed President Abdoulaye Wade’s controversial third term bid and barred Youssou N’Dour from standing because, like two other independent candidates, he had allegedly not submitted the required number of 10,000 verifiable signatures.