Catholic Church ‘satisfied’ with Senegal election

APA - Dakar (Senegal) By Abdourahmane Diallo

The Catholic Church’s Joint Electoral Observation Mission, in a statement on Wednesday said it was “satisfied” with the overall conduct of the presidential election in Senegal.

It said the exercise took place under “good conditions.”

The hitches witnessed did not affect the integrity of the election, said the Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace, Alphonse Seck in a preliminary statement on Wednesday.

The work carried out by the Church Election Observation Mission, composed of 1,000 observers deployed in 43 departments, focused on the opening hours of polling, the availability and functioning of election materials, the presence and punctuality of polling station members, the presence of security forces and the turnout at polling stations.

With regard to the opening and closing of the poll, the Church’s observation mission maintains that “in general and despite some slight delays, they opened and closed on time.”

Electoral materials were also “available and functional” in the vast majority of polling stations.

While welcoming the strong presence of the security forces “thus guaranteeing a peaceful conduct of the elections,” the Church’s observation mission also welcomed the presence and punctuality of officials at polling stations.

Regarding voter mobilization, the observers noted a “high turnout” in polling stations as soon as the centres opened, which they said confirms the high turnout.

However, it pointed out that some voters had difficulty finding their polling stations “because of the changes that had occurred and of which they were not sufficiently informed.”

The mission noted that the successful holding of the election shows that major challenges were addressed, particularly on the points related to the transparency and integrity of the vote.

It invited the National Autonomous Electoral Commission (CENA) to continue to strengthen the technical and operational capacities of electoral agents and make them available, in accordance with the electoral code, and to strengthen good collaboration with civil society.

The Church Election Observation Mission also calls on the Interior Ministry to continue the efforts already undertaken and to improve communication efforts on the modified electoral map for the proper orientation of citizens in future elections.

It also called on political actors to refrain from making any statement likely to undermine peace, public order and national unity and to initiate any protest in strict compliance with Senegalese electoral laws and in a peaceful manner.

The mission called on members of the national and international press to “remain in their role as informants (and) refrain from publishing unofficial results and false trends.”


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