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What is going on in Senegal? Protest Over Presidential Term Extension

Protests broke out in Senegal following the passage of a bill by lawmakers extending President Macky Sall's tenure and delaying elections, sparking accusations of a "constitutional coup" and "high treason"

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President-Macky-Sall_Senegal-President Protest TANTV
Credit: Economist -Getty Images - President Macky Sall of Senegal.

Protests erupted in Senegal on Monday over a contentious bill passed by lawmakers, extending President Macky Sall’s tenure and delaying elections. The move follows President Macky Sall’s decision to call off a planned election on February 3rd three weeks before it was scheduled.

Khalifa Sall, a prominent opponent, denounced the delay as a “constitutional coup,” urging people to protest. Another candidateWe are still shocked and angry. Civil society organizations are trying to implement an action plan but I guess elections are definitely postponed. Very disappointing, Thierno Alassane Sall, labeled it “high treason” and called for supporters to gather at the National Assembly.

President Sall’s proposal, needing three-fifths of the votes, passed with 105 MPs supporting it. The initial six-month delay was amended to 10 months, extending until December 15.

We are still shocked and angry. Civil society organizations are trying to implement an action plan but I guess elections are definitely postponed. Very disappointing – Marguerite – Sengelise Diasporan

Protests started in the capital, Dakar, challenging the unprecedented postponement. 

One of the Demonstrators Malick Diouf, 37 told AFP news agency,

“The main thing for me is to say ‘no’ to this political agenda, this coup de force to try to stay in power.”

Some Back Story 

Protests rocks Senegal Over Extension of Presidential Bill
President Macky Sall (Photo Credit: REUTERS)

Senegal has long been praised as a pillar of stability and democracy in West Africa. Satisfaction with democracy in Senegal has declined sharply during Sall’s tenure. Citizens accused authorities of excluding opposition candidates through legal maneuvers. 

It is important to note that Senegal has never delayed a presidential election. President Sall justified the delay, aiming to resolve disputes, but critics fear it may lead to a constitutional crisis. President Sall, who served two terms, was set to leave office on April 2. He first became president in April 2012 and was re-elected in February 2019.

Situation of Things 

Senegal’s parliament has voted to postpone the presidential election to December 15. In the late-night vote, 105 out of 165 MPs supported the measure, allowing Sall to remain in office until his successor is installed. The bill initially proposed an August 25 election due to concerns about increased unrest.

Juliet Anine

Juliet Anine is an accomplished writer and editor, boasting over five years of experience in the field. She specializes in crafting compelling narratives and excels in reporting and news writing.

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