The Senegalese authorities have banned an anti-government demonstration announced for Wednesday, June 29, in Dakar, risking further anger from the opposition in a climate of growing pre-election tensions.
On June 17, a previous demonstration, which was banned, had caused clashes resulting in the death of three people and more than 200 people were arrested, including two MPs, according to the opposition.
To justify this new ban, an order from the prefect of Dakar cited "real threats to public order", "real risks of infiltration by ill-intentioned individuals", "serious threats of attacks on public buildings" and "real risks of hindering the free movement of people and goods".
He also spoke of a violation of the electoral code and its article L.61, which prohibits any "disguised" propaganda in the 30 days preceding the opening of the electoral campaign.
The campaign is due to open on 10 July for the legislative elections on 31 July.
Tensions are rising after the Constitutional Council invalidated a national list of candidates from the opposition coalition Yewwi Askan Wi. This invalidation eliminates from the race the leader of the opposition Ousmane Sonko and a number of opponents of President Macky Sall. The opposition denounces a ploy by the presidency to remove its opponents.
Sonko, who came third in the 2019 presidential election and is a declared candidate for the 2024 election, and other leaders have threatened to prevent the elections from taking place if Yewwi Askan Wi does not participate.
The legislative elections aim to renew the 165 deputies of the National Assembly, which is largely dominated by the presidential coalition.