Senegal Must Hold Election After All, Top Court Rules

Senegal’s constitutional court ruled on Thursday that a national election that had been postponed by the president must take place as soon as possible, throwing the West African country’s political future into fresh doubt.

The court, the country’s highest, said that while it is now impossible to hold an election in 10 days’ time — the vote had initially been planned for Feb. 25 — the balloting should be held as soon as possible.

Less than two weeks ago, President Macky Sall issued a decree indefinitely postponing the balloting, pending an investigation into corruption allegations in the constitutional court. Just a couple days later, the country’s Parliament decided to delay the vote by nearly 10 months, setting Dec. 15 as the date.

As the highest judicial authority in the land, the constitutional court has the final decision in the matter, and to abide by the ruling, Mr. Sall must now allow political campaigns to begin, organize the coming election and step down by April 2, when his term comes to an end.

As of Thursday night, it was not clear what the president’s next move would be in response to the ruling.