Club de Madrid calls on the Government of Senegal to respect the rules of the game of democracy and to hold elections in a timely manner. Likewise, we demand the release of peaceful demonstrators and we are concerned about the arrest of politicians such as our Member and former Prime Minister of Senegal (2013-2014) Aminata Touré. Respect for freedom of expression, assembly, and demonstration is fundamental. Senegal must respect the rights of all its citizens.
This is the first time since 1963 that a direct universal suffrage presidential election has been postponed in Senegal. The country is characterised and recognised as one of the countries on the African continent with the most successful and deep-rooted democratic culture. It has never experienced a coup d’état. For this reason, what is happening is particularly painful and puts at risk one of the beacons of democracy on the continent. This is something we cannot afford.
Respect for democratic rights is not only a pillar for peace and stability but also for the sustainable development and well-being of the Senegalese nation. It is unconscionable for a democratic nation to imprison election candidates for purely political reasons. We make special reference to the case of Prime Minister Aminata Touré, who was arrested during one of the demonstrations and has already been released.
From Club de Madrid, we are extremely concerned about the situation and we ask the Government of Macky Sall to hold with normality and all guarantees the presidential elections scheduled for February 25. The stability and progress of Senegal depend on a solid commitment to democracy, the rule of law, and respect for free speech and peaceful assembly.
Senegalese democracy is a pillar of the country, the continent, and the world. And it must remain so.