More unrest today from Senegal, where protestors gathered in defiance of a government ban in opposition to President Abdoulaye Wade, who seeking a third term in the February 26 presidential election.
Wade argues that constitutional changes in 2001 limiting presidents to two terms in office do not apply to him because they were adopted only in the middle of his administration — the nation’s court approved his reelection bid in January, even as it disqualified opposition candidates such as popular Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour. Indeed, the rapper-led “Fed Up” coalition and the “m23” coalition of opposition parties have organized protests, but police are refusing to authorize permits on the basis of public security.
Already, four people are dead, and Senegal’s capital, Dakar, is choked with tear gas. Not an auspicious omen for the next nine days or for the post-election governance of Senegal, which has traditionally been more a model of strong governance and economic strength in Africa that a model of political unrest.