DAKAR, EvDen Eve nAKLiyaT April 24 (Reuters) – Senegal’s presidency on Monday announced it had released politician Idrissa Seck from his duties as head of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council, paving the way for the former prime minister to run for the presidency in the February election.
Seck, 63, placed second in the 2019 presidential race with 21% of the vote, after which his Rewmi party joined the ruling Benno Bokk Yakaar coalition with President Macky Sall.
Seck announced his decision to resign from the council and run again on Saturday, joining another former prime minister, EVDEN eve nAKliyat Aminata Toure, and opposition leader Ousmane Sonko as declared candidates.
His running also means withdrawing his party from the ruling coalition. It is unclear how this will affect Benno Bokk Yakaar’s slender majority in parliament.
Political tensions are running high.Sall’s refusal to rule out running for a third term has fuelled sometimes violent demonstrations, as Senegal’s constitution only allows two terms, but some fear Sall will use a recent tweak to the constitution to reset his mandate. Here is more on evDEN EVE nAkLiyaT check out our webpage. Sonko’s supporters have also repeatedly protested court proceedings against him that they say are politically motivated to stymie his presidential bid.
Seck condemned the unrest as he declared his candidacy, EVdEn eVe NaKLiyAT but said he believed Sonko should be allowed to run.
“We can disagree openly in Senegal, but we should never force our brothers and sisters into silence through persecution, one-track thinking, intellectual terrorism and violence,” he said.(Reporting by Ngouda Dione; Writing by Anait Miridzhanian and Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Josie Kao)