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Senegal Considers Postponing Election Pending Probe Into Validation Process

(Bloomberg) -- Senegal is considering postponing a presidential vote scheduled for this month until the completion of a probe into how the contenders were validated, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

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Prime Minister Amadou Ba, the ruling party’s candidate, is consulting with President Macky Sall, the people said, asking not to be identified before a public announcement. Sall’s office said he would address the nation at noon local time on Saturday.

Lawmakers ordered the probe this week after the independence of two judges at the Constitutional Council, which decided on the final list of 20 candidates who could run for president in the Feb. 25 vote, was cast into doubt.

Ousmane Sonko, the politician who posed the biggest threat to the ruling coalition, and Karim Wade, the son of Sall’s predecessor Abdoulaye Wade, were among those omitted from the list.

Wade’s Senegalese Democratic Party asked for six months postponement of the vote based on irregularities in the validation process, according to an emailed statement.

Lawmakers from Sall’s ruling Benno Bokk Yakaar coalition backed the inquiry, while some opposition legislators voted against it. Campaigning is officially set to begin on Feb. 3.

(Adds comment from Wade’s party in fifth paragraph)

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