Nationwide protests in Senegal as President Macky Sall Postpone Elections


On Friday, February 9th, Dakar, Senegal, descended into chaos as long-simmering political tensions erupted into violent clashes between opposition activists and law enforcement.

The catalyst for the unrest was a planned demonstration by supporters of opposition presidential candidates, aimed at protesting a recent law passed by the National Assembly.

This law not only delayed the presidential election until December 15th but also controversially extended President Macky Sall’s term.

As demonstrators gathered, police and gendarmes intervened swiftly, employing tear gas to disperse crowds and thwart the rally.

However, these actions only escalated the situation, fueling more anger among opposition supporters.

Throughout the day and into the night, Dakar was engulfed in tension and disorder. Barricades were set ablaze, filling the air with smoke and shrouding the city in uncertainty.

Journalists found themselves in the midst of the chaos, encountering hostility from both protesters and security forces.

Reports emerged of journalists being charged and detained by law enforcement, with some sustaining injuries in the chaos. This highlighted the risks faced by those reporting on the unfolding events.

Despite the volatility, the demonstrations persisted late into the evening, with the sound of police sirens echoing through the streets.

For the residents of Dakar, Friday was a day overshadowed by violence and uncertainty as the city grappled with the consequences of the political turmoil gripping the nation.

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President Macky Sall Amendment of Senegal’s Constitution

President Macky Sall’s amendment of Senegal’s constitution grants the Constitutional Council authority to reschedule elections under specific circumstances, such as the death, permanent incapacity, or withdrawal of candidates.

The alterations prompted outcry, with Abdullah expressing frustration, “Macky, that’s enough… Leave our constitution… Give us back our mandate… Enough is enough.”

Protests erupted in cities like Ziguinchor and Diourbel, while clashes in Dakar led to road closures, disruptions in transportation, and market closures.

Opposition leaders condemned the decision, labeling it a “coup,” while several lawmakers were barred from voting when parliament rescheduled the election for December, sparking outrage.

Opposition candidates appealed to the supreme court to overturn the decree, awaiting the Constitutional Council’s ruling, expected within a week.

Despite pressure, Sall declined to commit to accepting the court’s decision if it rejected the delay.

Originally set to conclude on April 2, Sall will remain in power until the December 15 election.




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