Senegal’s President Macky Sall has said he will leave office when his term comes to an end on 2 April – but he did not announce an election date.

In a televised interview he said the decision on a date would be part of political talks with all sides to start on Monday.

His recent decision to delay the vote, originally scheduled for Sunday, to mid-December sparked deadly protests.

His decree was ruled unconstitutional by the country’s top court last week.

Many feared the postponement would lead to President Sall’s remaining leader of the country indefinitely in a region plagued by coups and military governments.

President Sall said the election date would be determined after a “national dialogue” set to begin on Monday. This is to include the government, the opposition and members of civil society.

He said he felt there was not enough time to vote in a new president by 2 April, but said this forum would decide what should happen if this was the case.

In a show of good faith, President Sall said he was prepared to release the popular opposition politician, Ousmane Sonko, from prison. His arrest sparked nationwide protests last year.

Dozens of the president’s opponents have already been set free since Senegal’s Constitutional Council ruled that his decision to postpone the election was illegal.

But the fact that the president did not set a new election date will fuel suspicions by his critics that this is just another stalling tactic.

The opposition has vowed to continue protesting and want to keep up the pressure on the president to announce a date.

President Sall has served two terms as Senegal’s leader and when he was first elected in 2012 he promised he would not overstay.

His televised interview has not yet restored his country’s reputation as a bastion of democracy in an increasingly totalitarian region.