Senegal’s Election Delay Leads to Clash Between Protesters and Security Forces

Parliament voted to push back the polls to December after President Macky Sall announced a postponement last week. Security forces in Senegal clashed with protesters opposing the delay of the presidential election scheduled for February 25, with police firing tear gas at crowds in Dakar. Al Jazeera’s Nicholas Haque reported that young demonstrators want to have a say in the election, and are concerned about the extension of Sall’s mandate.

Protesters waved Senegalese flags and chanted slogans in Dakar, with some pupils leaving school to join the demonstrations. President Sall, who has reached his two-term limit, attributed the delay to a dispute over the candidate list. The move has drawn widespread criticism, with accusations of a constitutional coup and concerns about the country’s democratic tradition. Senegal’s Justice Minister Aissata Tall Sall emphasized the need to calm spirits but admitted that the postponement had caused unprecedented uncertainty.

Opposition lawmakers and presidential candidates have filed legal challenges against the delay, while the European Union urged Senegal to preserve democracy and organize elections as quickly as possible.

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