Senegal appears to have an identification disaster – its residents are pleased with the truth that it’s thought-about one of the crucial steady democracies in West Africa, and lots of are outraged that this repute is now on the road.

“We really feel betrayed by Macky Corridor“, say a gaggle of imams gathered in a mosque within the capital, Dakar, in regards to the political disaster that hit the nation per week in the past when parliamentarians supported President Sall's determination to delay this month's presidential elections till in December.

“The president should evaluation this. It’s unacceptable,” explains Ismael Ndiaye, the overall secretary of the League of Imams of Senegal.

“It has by no means occurred earlier than. Senegal has by no means had a delayed presidential election. We really feel betrayed. We really feel misunderstood.”

Islam is the predominant faith in Senegal – and feedback like these from influential Muslim leaders, who’ve mediated to resolve earlier political crises, carry monumental weight.

His blunt phrases replicate the wave of anger sweeping the nation as protesters take to the streets.

Protesters walk past a mosque during clashes with police in Dakar, Senegal - February 9, 2024Protesters walk past a mosque during clashes with police in Dakar, Senegal - February 9, 2024

Protesters stroll previous a mosque in Dakar as tear fuel is fired by safety forces

President Sall justified his transfer, saying that point is required to resolve a dispute over who’s eligible to be a presidential candidate after a number of opposition contenders had been barred.

However these on the streets see the postponement as a method for Mr. Sall to hold on to energy past the top of his second time period on April 2.

In his first interview for the reason that announcement, President Sall denied that was his intention.

“I'm on the lookout for completely nothing besides to go away a rustic in peace and stability,” he instructed The Related Press over the weekend.

“I don't wish to depart behind a rustic that can instantly plunge into nice difficulties.”

These phrases ring hole to his critics given his stance earlier than his election in 2012, when he strongly opposed the president's tenure. Abdoulaye Wade – The most effective of Abdoulaye Wade search a 3rd time period.

“A president can not prolong his mandate. It’s not attainable,” Mr. Sall, who was as soon as Mr. Wade's prime minister, stated in the course of the 2011 election marketing campaign.

“He can not prolong his mandate even for a day, in any other case the nation will probably be plunged into chaos as a result of the folks is not going to acknowledge his legitimacy and there can be no extra authority within the nation.”

There have been violent protests throughout Senegal over the previous week, that are stated to have left three folks useless.

Certainly one of them was a geography scholar who died in clashes with police on a college campus within the northern metropolis of Saint-Louis.

In Dakar, particles stays scattered within the streets after clashes with safety forces, who fired tear fuel to disperse the protesters.

Lots of the 4 million inhabitants of the town are troubled by the flip of occasions.

We met Fanta Diallo as she ventured out to purchase provisions for what appeared like unsure occasions forward.

“I'm damage and ashamed,” he instructed the BBC.

Fearing extra violence, she needs civil society to name a “useless metropolis” normal strike to indicate their anger towards parliament's assist for delaying the vote.

“This isn’t regular. We aren’t in a monarchy. I got here to city right now so I can purchase every little thing I would like.”

Adamadou Bayeshare, who was out in downtown Dakar on Saturday along with his pal Aminata Issete, agreed.

“We have to show peacefully for what we consider is correct, however we completely have to do one thing. I’m personally very, very offended,” he instructed the BBC.

Ms. Issete was a bit shy to be interviewed at first after which she grew to become very animated.

“We’re drained, we’re exhausted and deeply upset. What’s mistaken with our nation? What’s mistaken with that man?” she requested in regards to the 62-year-old president.

“Why this lack of respect in the direction of the residents of Senegal? We don’t deserve this. We wish to vote for a brand new president,” he stated.

A woman carries baguette bread along a street in Dakar, Senegal - February 2024A woman carries baguette bread along a street in Dakar, Senegal - February 2024

Greater than 60% of Senegal's inhabitants is underneath the age of 25

Defeated, upset, defeated. These are the recurring phrases on the streets, right here on social media the place movies and footage flow into exhibiting the alleged brutality of the police from the protests.

These younger individuals are those who voice frustration over the shortage of labor within the nation, and who type the spine of assist for Ousmane Sonko, a preferred opposition chief who was excluded from the presidential race as a consequence of a defamation conviction.

He has confronted a number of authorized battles lately and was jailed in a separate case for calling for revolt, conspiring with terrorist teams and endangering state safety. This was in July, when his social gathering was additionally banned.

The 49-year-old maintains that each one fees are politically motivated. Even with the election delayed till December 15, there may be little probability he will probably be allowed to remain – however whoever he helps might have an opportunity of profitable.

It’s his stance on the financial system that has significantly anxious Senegal's elite – however he has gained an enormous quantity of assist. He criticizes the nation's shut relationship with France, the previous colonial energy.

The previous tax collector needs a withdrawal from the CFA franc – the regional foreign money utilized by 14 African international locations, which is pegged to the euro underneath a assure from the French authorities. Critics concern such a transfer will spell financial catastrophe.

The following 9 months might give the weak governing coalition the chance to strengthen its possibilities within the elections and maybe take into account a stronger candidate instead of Mr. Sall's chosen successor, Prime Minister Amadou Ba. which is taken into account by some to lack charisma.

The postponement can also work in favor of one other opposition chief Karim Wade, son of the previous president, who was disqualified as a result of he had not renounced his French citizenship in time – electoral legal guidelines don’t permit twin nationality.

Gendarmes with smoke rising behind them in Dakar, Senegal - February 9, 2024Gendarmes with smoke rising behind them in Dakar, Senegal - February 9, 2024

It’s troublesome to see how an answer will be discovered that may calm the strain

The federal government spokesman, Abdou Karim Fofana, reiterated that President Sall is not going to threat his credibility for a number of months in energy.

“Whenever you're a pacesetter, you usually should make unpopular and typically misunderstood selections,” he instructed the BBC. “It's not a pleasure to [President Macky Sall] to take action. He did this to protect his nation as he’s mature and accountable.”

With the extent of assist for Mr. Sonko and the sensation that the judiciary has been used to exclude him from the race, it’s troublesome to see how he’ll discover a resolution that may actually clear up the disaster.

Authorized professional El-Hadji Omar Diop says one other situation might play out.

“President Sall could resolve to go away the day after April 2. On this case, the president of the Nationwide Meeting will assume energy and name a brand new election in two to a few months,” stated the college professor.

Extra demonstrations are deliberate for Tuesday, though they haven’t but been licensed by the authorities.

Mamadou Faye, a father of three, hopes that this can convey his message with out the necessity for “useless metropolis” photographs as he says he can not afford to not work.

“Nobody will assist me. We’re bored with all this. We simply need to have the ability to feed our household.”

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