Several political rallies are slated to take place in Dakar on Friday, February 22, ahead of the February 24 presidential elections. Incumbent President Macky Sall will reportedly host a campaign rally at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium, while challenger Ousmane Sonko is expected to rally supporters in the Guediawaye district. Additional rallies by oppositions candidates Issa Sall, Madcke Niang, and Idrissa Seck are also expected to take place in the capital on Friday, coinciding with the end of the presidential campaign period. 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.
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 Macky 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 Dakar 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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