Senegal: thousands of people celebrate the tenth anniversary of the demonstration which prevented the ex-president from leaving his third term

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Thousands of people in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, on Wednesday commemorated the tenth anniversary of the June 23, 2011 demonstration that barred former President Abdoulaye Wade from a third term, and called for a “no third term. For the current president Macky Sall.

But it’s almost like déjà vu. Wednesday’s anniversary transformed a protest that called for a ban on a possible third term for current President Macky Sall.

Mr. Sall, elected in the second round in 2012 against Abdoulaye Wade and reelected in 2019, remained silent on his intentions in 2024.

A few thousand people gathered in the Grand Yoff district, at the call of the Movement for the Defense of Democracy (M2D), a militant group supporting Ousmane Sonko, who is expected to be Mr. Sall’s main opponent in the event of a candidacy .

“Ten years later, we are still firmly opposed to the violation of the Constitution. Macky Sall is not entitled to a third term. He must leave,” said education unionist Dame Mbodj.

“Senegal tampi”, “the Senegalese are tired,” chanted the demonstrators, a slogan in vogue for several weeks.

At the same time, several thousand people converged on the Place de la Nation at the call of the June 23 Movement (M23) born ten years ago from the protest against Abdoulaye Wade. Organizations supporting the president joined the call, arguing that their members and Macky Sall himself also participated in the 2011 protests.

Signs of support for Macky Sall, such as T-shirts bearing his name, were everywhere. Social Economy Minister Zahra Iyane Thiam denied that it was a pro-Macky Sall protest.

“All the actors of 2011 are there, with a few exceptions,” and the people came “to applaud the achievements of the president,” she told AFP. The participants in the competing demonstration “are opponents who were not in combat in 2011,” she said.

Some initiators and participants in the 2011 mobilization are now in the presidential majority, others in the opposition, others have taken a step back.

June 23, 2011 is remembered as a day of demonstrations and violence against Abdoulaye Wade’s plan to revise the constitution.

Mr. Wade, elected in 2000 and re-elected in 2007, had the Council of Ministers approved a modification of the presidential election allowing the election of a president / vice-president ticket with 25% of the votes in the first round.

This plan is denounced not only as opening the way to a third term, but also as laying the foundations for a dynastic evolution of power, for the benefit of his son.


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