WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a bipartisan resolution reiterating the importance of the U.S.-Senegal relationship and calling for the Senegalese government to conduct free, fair, transparent, and inclusive elections on February 25, 2024.
“As the trajectory of democracy in West Africa wavers, all eyes will be on Senegal’s upcoming February 25 election as citizens of this regional heavyweight select a new president,” said Ranking Member Risch. “Though president Sall’s commitment not to seek an unconstitutional third term was widely applauded, I remain concerned about closing political space, repression of the political opposition, and lack of transparency of electoral processes. I am hopeful that a democratic election in February will further solidify the United States’ relationship with Senegal as an ally and partner.”
“Senegal has for decades been one of the most stable democracies in Africa, with a long tradition of peaceful, democratic transfers of power,” said Chair Cardin. “Credible allegations that the current Senegalese administration has restricted freedom of speech and the press, used the judicial system to target political opponents and civil society activists, and implemented electoral law changes designed to reduce the competitiveness of opposition parties and candidates are deeply troubling. The United States must closely watch the conduct of next year’s elections, and take steps to held accountable those who undermine democracy in Senegal. I stand in solidarity with the Senegalese people and their democratic aspirations.”
The resolution recognizes Senegal as one of the most stable democracies in Africa and applauds the work of Senegalese civil society organizations dedicated to electoral reform. It also expresses solidarity with the people of Senegal and encourages them to exercise their right to vote and to refrain from acts of violence in the upcoming elections.
Text of the resolution can be found here.