Senegal: Macky Sall promises a general amnesty law Senegal: Macky Sall promises a general amnesty law

Senegal: Macky Sall promises a general amnesty law

Senegal: Macky Sall promises a general amnesty law

Senegalese President Macky Sall told a national dialogue on Monday that elections will be held before the rainy season begins around July, and reiterated his commitment to leaving office before his term ends in April.

But the election's 16 candidates have refused to participate in the dialogue, insisting that an election date must be set as soon as possible in accordance with a court order earlier this month.

However, Alione Sarr, whose candidacy was rejected by the Constitutional Council, made the trip.

“I came as a free citizen, but also as a citizen heir to a political history, that of Senegal, which is punctuated by national dialogue, the most illustrious being that of 1993, which gave us this consensual agreement which allowed us to have four (democratic) alternations in Senegal.

Sall, who has said he would not run again after his two terms, had postponed the elections for 10 months while citing unresolved differences over who could run. The Constitutional Court of Senegal declared this delay illegal.

On February 15, the court ordered the government to set a new date for the elections, but Sall's government has yet to do so.

And these exchanges seem to convince certain elected officials of the sincerity of the outgoing president who promises not to run again.

“The responsibility of the President of the Republic is to call the Senegalese family (the leaders) around the table and to discuss. This is all the more relevant as he himself (Macky Sall, President of Senegal) will not be involved in the electoral process. He is not a candidate for succession.

The national dialogue aims to foster trust between the population and political actors and includes members of civil society and religious leaders.

“Dialogue and consultation are precisely what is needed to address these weaknesses and move forward in the quest for the ideal of democracy,” Mr. Sall said.

Senegal had been considered one of Africa's most stable democracies, but disputes surrounding the election plunged the country into a political crisis.

In another attempt to calm the West African nation, the president said he would introduce a general amnesty law over the sometimes deadly protests in which hundreds of people have been jailed.

The beneficiaries of the amnesty law remain unknown and whether opposition political figures like Ousmane Sonko could be affected. Sonko is in prison and is not allowed to run for office. He is accused of calling for insurrection and found guilty of “corruption of young people”.

Abu Dhabi: WTO calls for collective action to save global trade

The World Trade Organization called on Monday for collective action in the face of economic uncertainties and geopolitical tensions. The WTO Director-General spoke at the ongoing biennial in the United Arab Emirates under pressure from world powers, on the eve of crucial upcoming elections around the world.

“Let’s not pretend that any of this would be easy. If we thought the world looked tough in May 2022, as we slowly emerged from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine ended food and energy security. The situation is even more difficult today. We need to address uncertainty and instability everywhere. Geopolitical tensions have worsened. The conflict has spread, as we see here in the Middle East and away from the headlines in parts of Africa and the Arab world. We must not forget the conflict in Sudan, which has displaced nearly 8 million people within and across borders, or the conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Facing the assembly, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala returned to the major challenges of the moment.

“Rising prices of food, energy, fertilizer and other essential goods continue to weigh on people's purchasing power, fueling political frustration. Disruptions in vital waterways like the Red Sea and the Panama Canal, a new source of delays and inflationary pressures, are a real-time reminder of the risks that security concerns and the climate crisis pose to global trade and production .

The 13th WTO Ministerial Conference is being held in Abu Dhabi until Thursday. It is the place for exchange between the organization's member countries on issues such as the ban on subsidies contributing to overfishing and digital taxation, in the context of the uneven recovery from the pandemic and the imminent elections in more than 50 countries.

The outcomes of these deliberations and elections will significantly influence the trajectory of the WTO and the global economy, underscoring the importance of proactive and collaborative efforts to address the challenges ahead.

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