Postponement of Presidential Election Sparks Controversy as Planned March Faces Ban

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read
Presidential

Tensions persist between authorities and opponents of the recent decision to postpone the presidential election originally scheduled for February 25th to December 15th, 2024. A planned large-scale march organized by civil society in Dakar on February 12th was thwarted as the capital’s prefecture issued a ban, prompting organizers to defer the demonstration against the last-minute election delay and the extension of the president’s mandate.

Late into the night, organizers, comprising around fifty civil society organizations, attempted to secure approval from the prefecture for an alternative route to no avail. This Tuesday morning, a representative of the platform is scheduled to meet with the prefecture in a bid to validate a new course of action.

In the meantime, the march against the election postponement has been postponed itself. Organizers are poised to propose a new date and route later in the day, emphasizing their commitment to legality and non-violence. Recent attempts to gather have been met with forceful dispersal by law enforcement, resulting in three fatalities from gunfire since Friday, February 9th.

The UN Expresses Deep Concern

Officially, the prefecture justified the ban on grounds of potential traffic disruption, as stated in an official letter circulated on social media. However, parallel discussions between authorities and certain political actors regarding potential de-escalation measures are reportedly underway. This timing might elucidate the ban and the decision to postpone the march.

As of Tuesday morning, mobile internet services have been suspended. Meanwhile, the United Nations has called for investigations into recent events.

The situation in Senegal remains tense, with the prohibition of the planned march adding to the ongoing controversy surrounding the postponement of the presidential election. As stakeholders navigate this critical juncture, calls for restraint and dialogue resonate, emphasizing the need for peaceful resolution and respect for democratic principles.

Soukaina Sghir

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