Senegal Presidential Election 2019 – Introduction
The impending Senegalese presidential election has been scheduled to take place on Sunday 24th February 2019. This election will be the 11th presidential election since gaining independence from France in 1960. So far, the west African state has had four presidents: Léopold Sédar Senghor, Abdou Diouf, Abdoulaye Wade and Macky Sall. The incumbent, Macky Sall, has recently announced his candidacy for the executive officer. If he is successful in February it would be his second term in office. The constitution dictates that the Presidency is a seven-year term.
The electoral procedures consist of an initial ballot. If one single candidates fails to win by a majority, i.e. over 50% of the votes cast, a second round occurs, between the candidates with the two largest proportions of the vote. The Autonomous National Electoral Commission (CENA) is responsible for organising and supervising all the operations of the electoral process. This independent body covers voter registration, the organisation of polling stations, the provisional proclamation of the election results and also manages and appoints administrative personnel nationwide. Additionally, a further governance institution the National Audio-visual Regulatory Council (CNRA) also exists. The institution’s mandate is to ensure compliance of the public media during the election campaigns. Every Senegalese citizen who is over the required age of 18 years is eligible to vote. All candidates over 35 years of age are required to file their candidacy at the Constitutional Council in order to appear on the ballot. Candidates are also required to pay a fee of FCFA (USD 59,803) in order to run for the office of the presidency.
During this official campaigning period, state security nationwide is reinforced in order to mitigate against any political motivated violence. In urban areas, particularly during the weekends and evenings, towns and cities tend to be livelier, with large election rallies being held. Visitors are strongly recommended to avoid such events. Although Senegal remains a relatively peaceful country, these events facilitate greater incidents of opportunistic crime, particularly against foreign nationals.
Despite the moderate threat environment that exists in Senegal, much like in all of the West Africa the threat of terrorism remains and will only be heightened during the election period. Terrorist groups operating in the region including Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Jamaat al-Islam Wal Muslimeen (JNIM) have shown their intent and capability to carry out attacks across the Sahel region. With Senegalese forces contributing troops to the UN mission in neighbouring Mali, terrorists have declared the government of Senegal a legitimated target. Certain regions particularly in the North and east of the country bordering Mauritania and Mali should be avoid during the election period, due to the threat of terrorist activity.
The complete report is available for download at the following link: Presidential Elections in Senegal
This report is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this report. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information within the report but Salama Fikira can take no responsibility for inaccuracies of fact or deduction. All images are subject to copyright.