Several political rallies are expected across the country ahead of the February 24 presidential elections. A rally organized by opposition candidate Ousmane Sonko is set to take place in Saint-Louis (Saint-Louis region) on Tuesday, February 19. Supporters are expected to gather at Place Faidherbe. Another rally organized by opposition candidate Madické Niang is expected to take place in Thiès (Thiès region) on February 19 at Promenade Thiessois. Rallies by opposition candidates Ousmane Sonko and Issa Sall opposition candidates are also expected to take place in Thiès on Wednesday, February 20.
Heightened security measures and traffic disruptions are likely in the vicinity of any election-related event. Clashes between supporters of different political parties are possible in the coming days. Further political rallies and related events are expected to be held until the official end of the campaigning period on February 22.
The campaign period for the upcoming presidential elections started on February 3, and is scheduled to end on February 22. There are five candidates running for president, including incumbent President Macky Sall. Voting is scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 24.
Opposition groups have held regular protests throughout January 2019 and ahead of the February 24 general elections to denounce discrepancies in the electoral process, including the decision to block the jailed former Mayor of Dakar, Khalifa Sall, and other opposition candidates from running for president. Another leading opposition figure, former Minister Karim Wade, will also be unable to contest President Sall in the upcoming elections due to convictions. Senegalese ballot access laws introduced in 2018 require a minimum of 53,000 signatures, or sponsors, in support of a candidate to appear on a presidential ballot.
Individuals in Senegal are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests and political rallies due to the risk of violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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