The Senegalese presidency on Monday confirmed having applied to the a Constitutional Council to widen the criteria for documents that could qualify a person to vote in upcoming legislative polls.
The request was occasioned by biometric identity cards which could effectively mean that some people will be unable to participate in the polls contrary to Article 3, paragraph 4, of the Constitution which stipulates that “all Senegalese nationals of both sexes, aged 18 years and over, enjoying their civil and political rights shall be electors under the conditions determined by law.”
Hence the presidency is asking for four other identification documents to be used along with the the biometric card for those whose copies remain valid. The four are: a digitized national identity card, a digitized voter card, a passport and a driving licence. They also asked that a registration document for first-time applicants not holding one of the first four administrative documents should also be accepted.
President Macky Sall, the statement added, ‘‘reaffirms his unreserved commitment to the organization of transparent, free and democratic elections. The prerequisite in this sense is the possibility for each Senegalese to freely fulfill his duty as a citizen.’‘
The polls are slated for 30 July 2017. It is seen as a test for the ruling coalition. The stakes have been upped further with the participation of former president Aboulaye Wade. The 91-year-old is hoping to lead the fractured opposition to recapture power in the legislature.