Senegal in Turmoil: Civil Society Calls for Nationwide Strike and Protest Following Vote Delay


Amidst a significant political upheaval in Senegal, a coalition of civil society groups has issued a call for mass mobilization to protest the delay of the presidential poll originally scheduled for February 25. The West African nation, known for its stability, has witnessed unprecedented turmoil after President Macky Sall’s decision to postpone the election until mid-December received backing from lawmakers.

The newly formed platform, Aar Sunu Election (Let’s protect our election), comprising around 40 citizen, religious, and professional groups, including education unions, issued a statement urging citizens to mobilize against what they see as a threat to democratic principles. They are planning a series of actions, including a major demonstration scheduled for Tuesday and a general strike on an unspecified date. The education sector is also expected to stage a walkout starting Friday.

Malick Diop, one of the platform’s coordinators, emphasized the need for citizens to unite nationwide and in the diaspora to prevent what they perceive as an attempt to seize power. The platform has specifically called on Muslims to wear white and display national colors during Friday prayers as a symbol of solidarity.

As the crisis in Senegal unfolds, West African foreign ministers are holding emergency talks in Abuja, Nigeria, to address the situation. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has urged Senegal, one of its historically stable member states, to adhere to the original election timetable. However, concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of ECOWAS in influencing increasingly defiant member states.

The political unrest in Senegal has not only prompted domestic protests but has also triggered international discussions as regional leaders grapple with finding a resolution to the crisis. The unfolding events underscore the challenges facing democratic processes in the region and raise questions about the influence of regional bodies in maintaining political stability.



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