News / Africa

Rival Rallies in Senegal Over President's Right to Run Again

Senegalese rapper Thiat, a leader of the 'Y en a marre' (Enough is Enough) opposition group, addresses protesters during an opposition rally demanding that Senegalese leader Abdoulaye Wade renounce his bid for a third presidential term in Dakar, Senega, J
Senegalese rapper Thiat, a leader of the 'Y en a marre' (Enough is Enough) opposition group, addresses protesters during an opposition rally demanding that Senegalese leader Abdoulaye Wade renounce his bid for a third presidential term in Dakar, Senega, J

In Senegal's capital Saturday there were two big political rallies. One for President Abdoulaye Wade's re-election. One by the president's opponents says his candidacy is unconstitutional.

Anti-government protestors marched through Dakar's Place de l'Obelisque denouncing the president's re-election campaign.

They say constitutional term limits prevent Mr. Wade from running again. Those limits came into force in 2007. So the president's supporters say the law does not apply to his first term, which began in 2000.

University student Amadou Sow says the president is breaking the law when he is the one who is supposed to be defending the constitution.

Sow says people are demonstrating to say no to the candidacy of Mr. Abdoulaye Wade because it is unconstitutional. Sow says the president does not have the right to run again, that is why people are saying no.

Safiatou Gueye helped hold a banner telling the president to keep his hands off the Senegalese constitution. Gueye says the opposition alliance is mobilized behind its success one month ago to force the ruling party to abandon constitutional changes that would have made it easier for President Wade to win re-election on the first ballot.

That June 23 protest outside the National Assembly was the biggest anti-government demonstration of the Wade presidency. More than 100 people were injured in rioting that police put down with tear gas and water cannon.

When opposition leaders announced plans to mark its one-month anniversary Saturday with a rally downtown, the government banned all rallies downtown. So protestors moved to the Place de l'Obelisque and the ruling party rallied at its headquarters in a northern suburb.

The president's supporters carried signs that said “Five More Years” and “President Wade, Hope of the Nation”. Student Koumba Bah says he is Senegal's best choice. He has experience, Bah said. He has worked since he was elected in 2000 and has done many things to develop the country. That is why she wants him to be president again in 2012.

Businessman Abdoulaye Thiam says the president's opponents are trying to use the question of term limits because they know they can not beat him at the ballot box.

Thiam says the other candidates are all people who worked with President Wade before as ministers but then when they left power they say he has never done anything. Thiam says the president is the best candidate and that is who he is going to vote for.

President Wade is proposing to move forward February's scheduled vote. He says if the opposition is “in a hurry and sure” it will win, he will consider an early vote “if that is necessary for social cohesion and national harmony.”

You May Like

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Russia’s Prosecutor General to Review Legality of Baltics Independence

Move, announced Tuesday, has alarmed Baltic States and strained even further their increasingly tense ties with Moscow More

US Urged to Keep Up Pressure on Cuba Rights

Communist government continues to hold dozens of political prisoners, tightly restricts freedom of expression, uses threats, intimidation to discourage critics, according to activist groups 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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs