Senegal Cuts Internet Access as Citizens Protest Presidential Poll Delay
Mobile internet in Senegal has been temporarily cut by the government following protests against President Macky Sall’s decision to postpone the presidential election.
As reported by the BBC, Communication Minister, Moussa Bocar Thiam, stressed the necessity of taking action to prevent the dissemination of “hateful and subversive messages relayed on social networks in a context of threats of disturbances to public order.”
Sall had on Saturday announced the indefinite postponement of the presidential election, which was originally set to take place on February 25, just hours before official campaigning was due to start.
AFP reports that it was the first time a Senegalese presidential election has been postponed.
The decision comes after a disagreement between the National Assembly and the Constitutional Court regarding rejection of candidates
The Economic Community of West African States expressed concern regarding the delay in the presidential election.
Today, lawmakers will discuss a bill that suggests scheduling the presidential election for August 25 and allowing President Sall to remain in office until his successor is officially sworn in.
Several dozen protesters could be heard chanting “Macky Sall dictator” outside the parliament on Monday, referring to the incumbent president, after being scattered by security forces, as reported by the AFP.
The protesters are reportedly being rallied by opposition figures.
BBC reports that former Prime Minister and opposition candidate, Aminata Touré, announced on social media that she had been released after being arrested during Sunday’s protest.
“Let us all mobilise to defend our democracy. No to the postponement of the presidential election,” she said in an online post.
Another opposition candidate, Daouda Ndiaye, also claimed he was attacked by police.
He shared on social media that he had been hospitalised, but stressed the importance of holding an election on February 25.
The hashtag #FreeSenegal is currently trending on X.