Senegal's Sall sets 'example' by declining bid for third term: US
The United States applauds Senegalese President Macky Sall's decision not to run for a third term, the State Department said Tuesday.
WASHINGTON - The United States applauds Senegalese President Macky Sall's decision not to run for a third term, the State Department said Tuesday.
Until a highly anticipated speech Monday in which Sall said he would not seek reelection, the leader of the West African nation had been coy about his intentions for the 2024 race.
Fears of a third term stoked deadly protests, as Sall and his supporters argued that a constitutional revision in 2016 reset the clock on his two-term limit.
"The United States welcomes (Monday's) announcement by Senegalese President Macky Sall that he would not seek reelection for a third term," the State Department said in a statement.
"President Sall’s clear statement sets an example for the region, in contrast to those who seek to erode respect for democratic principles, including term limits," the statement added.
The Biden administration has promoted its support of democracy in Africa, with Senegal considered a key US partner. Sall attended the US-Africa Leaders Summit last year, amid concerns he was plotting a 2024 run.
International observers have been warily focused on recent unrest in Senegal, a country often celebrated as a beacon of democracy and stability in a notoriously turbulent region.
Deadly clashes erupted last month between opposition supporters and security forces, in part fueled by worries Sall would run again, claiming at least 16 lives.
Neighboring Guinea and Mali are ruled by military juntas, and Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara won a third term in 2020. The recent turbulence in Senegal has somewhat tarnished its reputation in a region that has long battled coups and democratic setbacks.
The identity of Sall's political successor remains unclear, while many of his opponents remain ineligible to run next year after being convicted on what they say were politically motivated charges.