Senegal protests poke holes in its longstanding image of stability

by | Jul 16, 2022 | World

Dakar, Senegal – As the smoke from protesters’ fires billowed upward into the sky and tear gas from police crept through boulevards and alleyways last month, Senegal – often lauded as West Africa’s most stable democracy – once again found itself in turmoil.Some opposition leaders were blocked from leaving their homes by police, while others were arrested for organizing what authorities deemed illegal protests. In southern Senegal, authorities were accused of using live rounds to disperse protesters. In Dakar, students threw stones at police. Streets were barricaded and blocked off by authorities. As protests rocked the country, three people were killed, according to Amnesty International.
The most recent protests are decrying the move by Senegal’s constitutional council to throw out the candidate list for the main opposition coalition ahead of the legislative elections at the end of this month. The opposition will still be able to run alternate candidates, but main leaders like Ousmane Sonko – who came third in the 2019 presidential elections – won’t be on the ballot.
Beyond the immediate concerns, however, lie longstanding political issues that have dogged Macky Sall’s presidency since he came to power in 2012.
Cries of “Macky Sall is a dictator” rang out in Dakar as protesters called out the wide-ranging powers vested in the presidency, and the yearslong pattern of political opposition being stymied, always on seemingly technical grounds.
The resulti …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This