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Senegal: Nationwide protests against vote delay, 1 dead

Senegalese demonstrators protest in Dakar Friday, Feb. 9, 2024.   -  
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Stefan Kleinowitz/


Senegal's police used tear gas on Friday (Feb.09) to disperse opposition protesters demonstrating against the decision by President Macky Sall to postpone the country's Feb. 25 elections.

The constitution empowers the Constitutional Council to reschedule the vote in certain circumstances including “the death, permanent incapacity or withdrawal” of candidates.

“Macky (President Macky Sall), that's enough. Macky, that's enough. Nobody ever touched the constitution. Macky, why did you touch the constitution? Macky, for God's sake, leave our constitution. No one has ever touched it. For God's sake, give us back our mandate. Enough is enough. We want peace. We're sick and tired of this. We don't want violence. Leave our mandate,” Abdullah said.

Senegalese marched in cities including Ziguinchor, in the south and Diourbel, in the country's centre.

One student died in the northern city of Saint-Louis.

Clashes in Dakar lead to the closing of main roads, and disrupted rail lines and main markets.

“We called for a peaceful protest and for that I think normally the state should not react in this way," Ibrahima.

Opposition leaders and candidates rejected the decision, calling it a “coup.”

Several opposition lawmakers were blocked from voting on Monday as parliament rescheduled the election for December, prompting outrage and condemnation.

Earlier this week, more than a dozen opposition candidates filed an appeal with the supreme court to overturn the decree.

The Constitutional Council is expected to rule within approximately a week as to whether it agrees with the parliament's conclusion. However, when pressed, Sall wouldn't say whether he would accept the court’s decision if it rejected the delay.

Sall's time in office had been set to end on April 2 but he will remain in charge until the Dec.15 election.

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