Armed forces in Pudor, Senegal have killed 2 people and wounded five today as citizens protested 85 year old President Abdoulaye Wade’s re-election bid. The protests began after Senegal’s Constitutional court announced that it will allow Wade to run for president for the third time. The court however banned Youssou Ndour and two others from participating in the elections. They 14 judges of the court said that they could not verify the signatures of Ndour’s supporters.
Reacting to the ban Ndour said that “Senegal and its people are sick. We have been betrayed by this shameful decision…niether the will of the Senegalese people nor the opinions of experts in constitutional law have been heard”.
Ndour and other opposition forces have formed a larger group to start what they are calling a movement of “national resistance”.
Also joining the resistance is recently released opposition activist Alioune Tine. He was detained for two days after a police officer was stoned to death during protests in Dakar on Friday.
President Wade and the constitutional court argue that since the law that limited terms to two years was passed in 2001 while Wade was already in office, that his first term therefore, can not be counted under the law. Since coming into office in 2000, Wade has changed the constitution on several occasions.
By their logic, Wade’s first term is nullified, and his second term counts as his first. Senegal will hold elections on February 26th. Tensions are expected to rise as the people mobilize in the streets as they did during the protests of June 23.