Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Senegal: Opposition leader calls for protest against President Sall

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

Senegal’s opposition leader Ousmane Sonko on Sunday called for a mass protest against President Macky Sall seeking a third term in office.

President Sall will give a speech on Monday to announce whether he will run for president next year.

The president’s attempt to run again in 2024 according to most legal experts would violate the Senegalese constitution.

There are also concerns that a possible Sall candidacy would heighten tensions in the country with a repeat of the violence that took place when then President Abdoulaye Wade in 2012 attempted to seek a third term in office.

That plunged the country into chaos and violence, leading to 12 deaths.

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Sonko said in a speech that Senegalese must come out and protest and send a message to Sall not to run again.

“We must come out to confront the regime of Macky Sall and say that it will not be up to him to choose the candidates who will face each other in the next presidential election”, he said in a speech that was broadcast on social networks.

Mr Sall was was elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2019 but he had the Constitution revised in 2016.

The revised constitution stipulates that “no one may serve more than two consecutive terms”.

Sall’s supporters say he is free to contest in 2024 because the revision has reset the counters to zero.

“I believe it is up to all the Senegalese people to stand up and face him”, Sonko declared. “If we have to fight a battle, it has to be definitive. I call for a national awakening. The days and weeks ahead will be crucial.”

Mr Sonko himself is facing a conviction which currently makes him ineligible to run for president in next year’s election.

When he was convicted it sparked violent protest in early June, leaving at least 16 people dead.

Senegal’s president under pressure not to seek third term



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