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Senegalese opposition figure charged with insulting President Sall

Senegal's President Macky Sall attends the conference "Investing ...   -  
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Sarah Meyssonnier/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved


Birame Souleye Diop, an opponent of Senegalese President Macky Sall, was charged on Tuesday with offending the head of state, his lawyer announced.

The chairman of the parliamentary group of the Yewwi Askan Wi opposition coalition and an executive of Pastef, the party of Ousmane Sonko, the head of state's fiercest opponent, "has been charged with acts likely to compromise public peace and offending the President of the Republic", his lawyer, Moussa Sarr, told AFP, adding that he had been placed under a committal order.

On 3 July, Macky Sall announced that he would not stand for a third term in the presidential election scheduled for next year.

At a press conference the following day, Mr Diop warned against a possible U-turn by the Head of State.

"I warn the next candidates of the APR (the presidential party): Avoid eating at his house, avoid drinking his water, he is capable of poisoning you and saying: as we have no more candidates, I'm coming back. And to do it Ouattara-style. Beware", he said, before apologising.

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara had chosen Amadou Gon Coulibaly to succeed him, but the latter's death from heart problems at the age of 61 prompted Mr Ouattara to stand again for the 2020 presidential election, even though he had announced that he did not want to run for a third term.

Mr Diop was arrested the day after the press conference.

President Macky Sall's decision not to stand for re-election has eased a very difficult political climate in Senegal. 

The sentencing of opposition politician Ousmane Sonko to two years in prison led to the most serious unrest in Senegal for years, with 16 people officially killed and around thirty according to the opposition.

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