Student killed in Senegal protests over election delay | Elections News
Violent protests erupted after President Macky Sall postponed presidential elections for several months.
A student was killed in the Senegalese city of Saint-Louis during violent protests against the cancellation of the presidential election.
Clashes between security forces and protesters gripped Senegal’s capital and other cities on Friday, the first widespread unrest over a delayed vote that fears could lead to prolonged instability.
In a statement on Saturday, the Ministry of Interior and Public Security said it had been informed of the death of the student Alpha Yero Tounkara and that it would be investigated, but denied that his forces which was to blame.
“The Defense and Security Forces did not intervene to maintain order in the university campus where the death took place,” he said.
It was not immediately clear whether Saturday’s protests would continue. More violent crackdowns by security forces will add to fears of a democratic withdrawal.
Less than three weeks before the February 25 presidential vote, parliament voted to push it back to December, sealing the extension of President Macky Sall’s mandate, which has raised concerns that one of the remaining democracies in the coup-hit West Africa in danger.
Sall has reached his constitutional limit of two terms.
The vote in parliament took place after opposition lawmakers were forcibly removed from the chamber while the debate was underway.
After the parliament voted, 39 lawmakers in the opposition coalition, Yewwi Askan Wi, and several opposition presidential candidates filed legal challenges against the delay with the Constitutional Court.
In an attempt to quell the anger, Sall said he had postponed the election to restore trust in the electoral process after the list of candidates was questioned.
But anger was still high, with critics denouncing the move as an “institutional coup”.
“We are fed up with Macky Sall, he already had two terms what more does he want?” an activist told Al Jazeera.