Senegalese citizens rally against presidential election postponement

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Senegalese citizens took to the streets to protest against the potential extension of President Macky Sall’s term beyond April 2nd, the date designated by the constitution for the transfer of power. Carrying flags and banners emblazoned with messages such as “Election by force” and “Terminus April 2nd,” demonstrators voiced their staunch opposition to any attempt to prolong Sall’s presidency.

Organized by a citizen platform, the protest garnered widespread support from individuals across various segments of society. Chimere Manga, one of the protesters, emphasized the importance of Senegal’s sovereignty, declaring, “Senegal does not belong to a third party community that should dictate the fate of its people.” She condemned what she perceived as unjust imprisonments and the closure of universities, issues emblematic of broader grievances against the current administration.

The demonstration, characterized by its peaceful nature, marked a notable departure from previous instances of civil unrest in the country. While initially intended as a silent march, the protest evolved into a spirited expression of demands, particularly from supporters of opposition figure Ousmane Sonko, who called for his release.

Central to the protesters’ demands was the prompt holding of presidential elections in accordance with the constitutional timeline. Cheikh Ahmed Tidiane Gueye, another participant in the rally, asserted, “We have come to protest, like all Senegalese, to urge Macky Sall not to delay the elections. It is for the good of the nation and for his own benefit.”

Echoing this sentiment, Sagar Tall underscored the importance of upholding constitutional principles and respecting the republican calendar. The collective voice of the demonstrators resonated with a shared commitment to democratic norms and the rule of law.

The protest coincided with the Constitutional Council’s rejection of a law proposing the postponement of the presidential election, a decision welcomed by the demonstrators. This rejection signaled a victory for those advocating for adherence to constitutional mandates and reinforced the significance of public mobilization in shaping political outcomes.

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