By Alpha Kamara
DAKAR, Senegal (AA) – The country’s Constitutional Court approved Thursday President Macky Sall’s move to allow voters to use passports and driver’s licenses.
Sall urged the court Monday to allow those without voter ID cards, to cast ballots with national documents.
“In the withdrawal of biometric identity cards, the President of the Republic submitted to the Constitutional Council … that voters ‘having been able to withdraw their cards can vote in the legislative elections of 30 July 2017,” he wrote in a letter to the court. “Those without can use … A digitized national identity card, an old voter card, a passport, and a driving license”.
But opposition coalition members opposed the directive, claiming it as a slap to democracy in Senegal.
Democratic Party of Senegal PDS, lawmaker, Mamadou Lamine Diallo said “the move violates the ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] electoral code that says election laws should not be tampered with six months to elections day. The president wants to reverse our democratic gains. We will resist him” he told Anadolu Agency.
Police fired tear gas Thursday in Dakar to disperse opposition members who protested the directive. Six opposition members were arrested.
Election Day is Sunday and 47 political coalitions have registered to select candidates for 165 seats in the National Assembly.
The elections commission says the cost of the election is 9 billion CFA Francs but the opposition puts the cost a lot higher.