Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Senegal :Anti - Democracy protests


The Socialist Party of Great Britain and its Companion Parties within the World Socialist Movement has always aimed for the transition from Capitalism to Socialism to occur through the democratic process and not through violent revolution.

It is considered that are seventy two countries in the world which qualify as democracies.

The Republic of Senegal is a West African country of eighteen million people.

It is numbered within the classification of heavily indebted poor countries.

The World Poverty Clock has seven per cent of Senegal living in extreme poverty. In Democratic Indexes Senegal ranks as the fourth most democratic country in Africa. ‘Senegal s one of the few African states that has never experienced a coup d'état or exceptionally harsh authoritarianism. There are seventy two political Parties there.’ Wiki

Senegal is currently undergoing violent protests because the President has postponed elections due to take place by ten months.

Senegal’s Parliament has supported the President. At present it is not known what the eventual outcome

On Saturday (FSb. 10) at least two people were confirmed dead after protests were held across Senegal, Friday (Feb. 09).

Demonstrators were not allowed to gather, and groups were dispersed by security forces.

The victims confirmed so far, two men in their twenties, were killed in Saint-Louis and in Dakar according to local media reports.

The victim in Saint-Louis was a student. He was killed on a school campus following demonstrations in the northern city, according to a statement from the public prosecutor.

Anger has mounted since President Sall last week postponed presidential elections scheduled this month.

The delay came hours before official campaigning was due to begin.

Parliament backed a delay until December and voted to keep Sall in power until his successor takes office, which is unlikely to be before early 2025.

Sall's second term was due to end April 2nd.

The president said he postponed the vote because of a dispute between parliament and the Constitutional Council over aspiring candidates who were not allowed to stand.

In an interview Friday (Feb. 09), he said he wants to rapidly organize a national dialogue that will pave the way for a peaceful electoral process.

Opposition lawmakers have filed an appeal at the Constitutional court while presidential candidates appealed to the Supreme Court.

A new round of protests is planned for Tuesday (Feb. 13).

Senegalese in the diaspora have also taken to the streets. In France where a large community of Senegalese lives, crowds gathered Saturday (Feb. 10) in major cities including Paris, Bordeaux (South west) and Nice (south).’

In his first interview since announcing the postponement of the presidential election, Senegal's Macky Sall argues his decision to intervene was necessary to prevent worse electoral chaos.

He spoke Friday (Feb. 09) as nationwide protests shook the country.

“I am for an inclusive, transparent and peaceful process that allows me to pass on the baton smoothly and in peace. That is the most important thing for our country today. You are right that West Africa is currently in a extremely difficult time, it's not at such a time when I am about to end my term that I will reinvent myself in a new career as a dictator or non-democrat," Sall told the Associated Press.

"That’s a picture they are painting, but it doesn’t correspond to my profile or my personality and that doesn’t correspond to reality. The reality is that if there hadn’t been this crescendo of successive crises, despite the breaches, we wouldn’t have gone in this direction''.

Last May, Sall held a national dialogue aimed at reducing political tensions after unprecedented riots.

However, rights groups continued to accuse authorities of repressing the media, civil society and the opposition.

Senegal's president now believes a new dialogue can solve the crisis the country grapples with.

“The dialogue for me can start anytime from next week, but I think there are prerequisites if we want to have success. First among these prerequisites is to establish trust between the actors, bring peace and enter a dialogue," Senegal's president said.

"So within one or two weeks maximum if the actors accept and I see a lot of interest from more and more actors who are okay with the idea of dialogue, that means we can get there quickly.”

Opposition lawmakers have filed an appeal at the Constitutional court.

The decree voted by Parliament to postne the election is also contested by candidates in the presidentialelection.

Out of 20, 14 appealed to the Supreme Court.

Senegalese faith in democracy has significantly declined under Sall, according to an independent survey by a research network.’

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