Violent clashes and protests against the postponement of presidential elections in Senegal

Authorities in Senegal announced the killing of a young man during protests against the country's postponement of presidential elections, while several cities saw unrest that many fear will lead to prolonged instability in the country.

Senegal's interior ministry said a student was killed in the city of Saint-Louis during violent protests yesterday, Friday, against the decision to postpone elections, while violent clashes broke out between security forces and protesters in Dakar. The country's capital and other cities tomorrow, Friday.

The ministry said in a statement that it had received information indicating the death of student Alpha Yero Tonkara, and that it would investigate the matter, but it denied responsibility of its forces for his death, adding that “defense and “Security forces did not intervene to maintain order on the university campus where the death occurred.”

Senegalese President Macky Sall announced last Saturday, February 3, that the presidential elections scheduled for the 25th of this month have been postponed indefinitely, leading to demonstrations and clashes between security forces and protesters in Senegal. Are being watched.

This is the first time since 1963 that a presidential election by direct universal suffrage has been postponed in Senegal.

refuse

The Senegalese opposition sharply criticized the postponement decision and called for demonstrations against it, and supporters of the opposition coalition – which includes several candidates – demanded that the campaign be continued and that the presidential election not be postponed.

The Senegalese parliament held a session last Monday dedicated to discussing a draft law presented by the ruling coalition that allows the President of the Republic to extend his term for a full year, which the opposition rejects.

The draft law says lawmakers will today discuss a proposal to hold elections on August 25 and keep Sall in the presidency until the inauguration of his successor.

Several opposition candidates announced their intention to ignore the President's decision and continue their election campaigns.

Gendarmerie forces arrest protesters after President Sall announces postponement of presidential elections (Anatolia)

international concern

The Senegalese president's announcement to postpone the presidential election also raised concerns abroad, as the European Union confirmed on Sunday that postponing the election would create a “period of uncertainty” in the country, calling on the election to be held “as soon as possible”. “A call was made to do so. ,

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also expressed its concern about the circumstances that led to the postponement of the elections, and called for a new date to be set soon.

Yesterday, the French Foreign Ministry urged authorities to “remove ambiguity regarding the election timetable, so that they can be held as soon as possible and in accordance with the rules of Senegalese democracy.”

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