The US Department of State has expressed concern regarding the recent actions by the Senegalese government that have caused a delay in the country’s upcoming election.

The State Department’s spokesperson, Matthew Miller, said in a statement on Tuesday that the actions are contradictory to Senegal’s democratic values.

“We are particularly alarmed by reports of security forces removing by force parliamentarians who opposed a bill to delay the election, resulting in a National Assembly vote that cannot be considered legitimate given the conditions under which it took place.”

Advertisements

This was in response to an announcement made by Senegalese President Macky Sall on Saturday, where he revealed that the scheduled presidential elections set for February 25 will be delayed.

Lawmakers supported the delay on Monday night, although the voting process was disrupted when security forces entered the chamber and removed certain opposition deputies, preventing them from casting their votes.

“The United States urges the Government of Senegal to move forward with its presidential election in accordance with the Constitution and electoral laws.

HAVE YOU READ?:  UP NEPA!!! EEDC disconnects Imo Govt House over N200m debt

“We also call on the Senegalese government to restore full Internet access immediately and to ensure that freedoms of peaceful assembly and expression, including for members of the press, are fully respected.

Advertisements

“The United States will remain engaged with all parties and regional partners in the days ahead,” the statement concluded.

The government of Senegal temporarily disrupted mobile internet services in response to protests against President Sall’s decision to delay the presidential election.

According to a report from the BBC, Communication Minister Moussa Bocar Thiam defended the actions, saying it was to prevent the “hateful and subversive messages relayed on social networks in a context of threats of disturbances to public order.”

According to AFP, this is the first time a Senegalese presidential election will be postponed.

The news agency also reports that mobile internet access in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, was restored on Wednesday, two days after the authorities had temporarily suspended access.

Advertisements