Opposition to rally against Wade 3rd term

2012-01-30 10:44

kalahari.com

Dakar - Senegal's opposition readied on Monday for mass resistance to President Abdoulaye Wade's controversial third term bid, which a court validated in a late-night ruling despite violent dissent.

The Constitutional Council, appointed by 85-year-old Wade and known as the "five wise men", late on Sunday confirmed its ruling from Friday that declared the president's candidacy valid.

That decision had sparked deadly weekend riots in the normally placid west African nation.

The court said a series of appeals against its ruling were "unfounded", also rejecting Wade's own challenge against the inclusion of three other candidates.

The opposition argues that the constitution allows a president to serve only two consecutive terms, but Wade says the applicable law, amended in 2008, does not apply retroactively and cannot take into account his previous two terms.

The opposition, united under the June 23 Movement (M23), warned on Sunday that "the time for talking is over" as it called for mass resistance and a rally in the coming days.

"This is an appeal, a solemn, strong and resolute appeal to engage in resistance. We are ready for all sacrifices," said Amadou Gueye, one of the movement's leaders.

The Constitutional Council also turned down an appeal by music icon Youssou Ndour against its rejection of his candidacy on the basis that he had not provided enough supporting signatures.

The country's top politicians, who will be rivals in the February 26 polls, are presenting a united front under the M23 in a bid to ensure Wade does not take part.

"Our main concern is not the election right now, it is standing alongside our people," said ex-foreign minister and presidential candidate Cheikh Tidiane Gadio.

Running battles

Senegal, often hailed for its vibrant democracy, was rocked by riots on Friday night as a rally erupted in anger when the council gave Wade the green light to run.

A policeman was killed in the turmoil when angry youths engaged in running battles with police, torched cars and shops, erected barricades and burned tyres in Dakar's main roads.

When Wade was elected in 2000 for a seven-year mandate, there was no limit to the number of presidential terms.

He was re-elected in 2007 after introducing a two-term limit and reducing the mandate to five years.

Wade again revised the constitution the following year, reverting to a seven-year mandate, renewable once. Wade argues that he is entitled to two fresh terms from 2012, but the opposition disagrees.

A local body of online news websites (Appel) said in a statement on Sunday that 80% of Senegal's web news providers experienced technical difficulties since Friday night.

It suspects "attacks against the sites' host servers to prevent the closely-watched online media from relaying news on the current tense situation".

About 50 people, including M23 leaders, left Sunday's press conference in a convoy to Dakar's central police station to demand the release of fellow leader Alioune Tine, arrested Saturday after the riots.

"We are fed up"

Tine is also a prominent activist with the African Assembly for the Defence of Human Rights (RADDHO), which condemned his arrest without a warrant.

Macky Sall, a former prime minister under Wade who is also running in the election, blamed the president for the weekend violence.

He urged people to "make every effort to ensure that Wade retracts his candidacy".

Sall called for "everything at once: marches, sit-ins, resistance [but] no violence".

Another anti-Wade movement formed by a group of rappers and calling itself "Y'en a Marre" (We're Fed Up), has also called for nationwide mobilisation.

"Nothing can resist the will of the people," said rapper "Thiat", one of the founders of the movement, which has struck a chord with younger people.

Wade has dismissed the opposition protests as "temper tantrums."

On Sunday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, speaking at an African Union summit in Ethiopia, called on the continent's leaders to respect democracy, though he did not specifically mention Senegal.

The Arab Spring revolutions that swept north Africa last year were "a reminder that leaders must listen to their people", he said.

"Events proved that repression is a dead end. Police power is no match to people power seeking dignity and justice," he said.

Read more on:    abdoulaye wade  |  senegal  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The quest for understanding has reached a new intense emotional level. The more tempestuous your emotions are, the bigger the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.