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    Senegal: Church preaches for violent-free election

    APA-Dakar (Senegal) By Abdourahmane Diallo

    The Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace of the Senegalese Catholic Church, Father Alphonse Seck, on Thursday called for peaceful and non-violent elections, asking his compatriots to exercise their civic duty “with responsibility” for the good of the country.

    Speaking at the launch of the Church’s Election Observation Mission for the presidential election on 24 February, Father Seck noted the need for Sunday’s election organisers to do everything possible to ensure that the exercise take place “in the most complete transparency, so that the popular will can be fully expressed.”

    The Church Observation Mission, one of ten national missions accredited by the Ministry of Interior, has received from the authorities all the necessary accreditations and documents for the proper conduct of its work, the priest disclosed.

    This mission, constituted by the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace and the National Scout Movement of Senegal, is now in its 4th observation campaign on behalf of the Church after those of the 1stand 2nd rounds of the 2012 presidential election and the legislative elections of the same year.

    It will deploy 1,000 observers and supervisors in the field. They will be present in all seven dioceses of Senegal, in the fourteen regions and forty-five departments with the objective of visiting at least 6,000 polling stations.

    As a prelude to this election, the church, in partnership with the scouts, had to conduct, according to Father Seck, several awareness-raising campaigns aimed at the young and the middle-aged about the importance of exercising their civic duty, refusing to allow themselves to be corrupted in order to be able to vote freely and according to their conscience.


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