Senegal's "Unraveling": President's Delay of Election Is Latest in String of Anti-Democratic Actions

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Senegal is in the midst of its worst political upheaval in decades after the president postponed this month’s election. More than 200 opposition politicians and protesters have been arrested, and the government has shut down some internet access, amid what the decision’s opponents are describing as a coup. “This is just the latest step in a string of human rights abuses,” says Amnesty International researcher Ousmane Diallo, who says Sall’s latest anti-democratic move is characteristic of an increasingly repressive regime. We also hear from former Prime Minister Aminata Touré, who broke from Sall’s political coalition in 2022 after accusing him of anti-democratic actions. Touré, now a leading opposition figure, was arrested Sunday at a protest. And we are joined by Mamadou Diouf, professor of African studies at Columbia University, who says Sall has been trying to circumvent the Senegalese presidency’s two-term limit since his 2019 reelection. Touré and Diouf describe Senegal as an outlier in West Africa for its postcolonial record of strong democratic systems. “We will do whatever we need to do to keep the foundation of our democracy solid,” says Touré.

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