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48% Senegalese reject elections -Afrobarometer Survey

48% of Senegalese reject elections -Afrobarometer Survey

Afrobarometer survey shows how President Macky Sall’s move to postpone Senegal’s presidential election comes within the context of solid popular support for democracy but increasing dissatisfaction with the way the country’s democracy is working.

President Sall, last saturday announced the postponement of the 25 February presidential election indefinitely.

In a statement issued and signed by Acting director of communications, Afrobarometer, Josephine Appiah-Nyamekye Sanny said, most Senegalese endorse elections as the best way to choose their leaders.

According to one of the key findings, the proportion of Senegalese who say they are “fairly satisfied” or “very
satisfied” with the way democracy works in the country has declined sharply, from
64% in 2014 to 48%.

“They also favour limiting their presidents to two terms, a limitation that President Sall has promised to respect”, it noted.

According to the statement,  across 39 countries surveyed in 2021/2023, Senegal records the
third-largest proportion of citizens who prefer democracy to any other political system.

But it said, fewer than half of Senegalese say they are satisfied with the way democracy works in the
country, a significant decline compared to 2014, and a majority think the country is less democratic than it was five years ago.

Yet still, according to the statement, while most citizens say their president must always obey the country’s laws and courts, a growing share of the population say their president ignores them.

Other Key findings includes:

More than eight in 10 Senegalese say they prefer democracy over any other political system (84%) and endorse fair, open, and honest elections as the best way to choose their leaders (82%).

A similar majority (79%) want the president to be limited to a maximum of two
terms in office.

Across 39 African countries surveyed in 2021/2023, Senegal registers the third-strongest
support for democracy (84%), well above the continental average of 66%.

More than half (53%) of citizens say the country is less democratic now than it was five
years ago.

Three-fourths (76%) of Senegalese say their president must always obey the country’s
laws and courts, even if he thinks they are wrong.

But a majority (57%) say that in fact the president “often” or “always” ignores the laws and courts – more than quadruple
the proportion who thought so in 2013 (13%).

Source: Eric Nii Sackey

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