News / Africa

Senegal Opposition to Launch Election Campaigns

Senegalese opposition leader Macky Sall gestures as he attends a demonstration demanding that President Abdoulaye Wade drop plans to seek a third term in Dakar, Senegal, January 31, 2012.
Senegalese opposition leader Macky Sall gestures as he attends a demonstration demanding that President Abdoulaye Wade drop plans to seek a third term in Dakar, Senegal, January 31, 2012.
Nick Loomis

Two leading opposition candidates in Senegal have said they will start campaigning on Sunday to dislodge President Abdoulaye Wade from power.  Others remain committed to repealing his candidacy.  One analyst doubts the divided opposition will succeed on either front.

It's another crack in an already-fractured opposition.  Leading contenders Macky Sall and Moustapha Niasse have decided to concentrate on the campaign period, which officially opens on Sunday, instead of helping to rally a popular front against President Wade's candidacy.

"For me, they are making a big and huge mistake because Wade is so sure that he's going to win," said Senegalese political analyst Abdoul Lo.  "If I am a bit wise, I have to believe that because they have strong, maybe, guarantees that they will reach their objective."

President Wade overcame his first major hurdle last Sunday, when Senegal's Constitutional Council made its final decision that he could seek a third term, despite a limit of two in the constitution.  

If there's one thing the opposition agrees on, it is that the court's independence was compromised and Wade has no right to present himself to voters on February 26.  Lo says the rest of the field now has a tough decision on whether to campaign or boycott the vote.

"If they don't go, he will go anyway.  If they go, he will defeat them, as I said earlier, by any means necessary.  So I understand that it's a bit complicated for them," added Lo.

There are also rifts in the opposition between the political and non-political entities, as was seen during Tuesday's protests.  Organizers and politicians wanted a peaceful demonstration, while the masses wanted to march on the presidential palace.  The lack of consensus confined clashes to Dakar's Place d'Obélisque, where at least one protester was killed.  Minister of Foreign Affairs Madické Niang said on Wednesday that police are obliged to react accordingly to crowds that become violent.

Niang says that if the Senegalese people want to express themselves in a legal manner, they are free to do so, but they should be on guard against those who want to create violence.  

Amnesty International has called on President Wade to send a clear order to security forces that lethal force should only be used when their lives are in danger.

Three other people were killed last Friday during protests against Wade's candidacy.

During a television appearance Wednesday, the 85-year-old president compared the clashes to a "light breeze."

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid