News / Africa

Senegalese President's Decision to Run for Re-election Provokes Protests

Members of a Senegalese anti-government youth movement Y En A Marre [We're Fed Up] chant slogans during a rally against President Abdoulaye Wade, in the capital Dakar, January 27, 2012.
Members of a Senegalese anti-government youth movement Y En A Marre [We're Fed Up] chant slogans during a rally against President Abdoulaye Wade, in the capital Dakar, January 27, 2012.

Opposition groups in the west African nation of Senegal are calling for a nationwide protest Tuesday against President Abdoulaye Wade's controversial bid to seek a third term in next month's election.  

The 85-year-old president has governed Senegal since 2000. But a year after he took office, the country's constitution was changed, limiting presidents to just two terms. Wade insists the change does not affect him since it was made after he came to power.  Senegal's Constitutional Court has ruled in his favor.

But that decision sparked protests that began late last week, leading to the deaths of two people in the northern town of Podor. According to witnesses, a woman and a high school student were killed by security forces on Monday.

A policeman was killed on Friday during violent protests in Dakar, the capital.

Senegalese who spoke with VOA on the streets of Dakar were of the almost unanimous opinion that Wade should step down. The majority of Senegalese say he is too old to remain in office. Opposition candidates vow to fight him all the way to the February 26 election.  

The unrest in Senegal has led to expressions of concern from both the United States and France. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns told reporters in Addis Ababa on Monday the decision by Wade to stand for re-election threatens Senegal's long record of political stability.

"We're concerned that the decision by President Wade to seek a third term undermines the spirit of democracy in Senegal, that it could jeopardize the many achievements of president Wade's tenure in office and it could jeopardize the decades-long record that Senegal has built up on the continent for democracy, democratic development and political stability,'' said Burns.

The protests in Senegal have been organized by a group of opposition and civic organizations known as M23, whose leader, Alioune Tine, was arrested on Saturday.

An M23 official told VOA's French-to Africa service it is not known where Tine is or why he is being held.

World music star Youssou N'dour had sought to run for the presidency. But the Constitutional Court rejected his candidacy, ruling that he failed to collect the proper number of valid signatures on his petition.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid