Civil society groups call for mass movement to protect Senegal’s democracy

Senegal is facing its worst political crisis in decades, as civil society groups are mobilizing against the postponement of the presidential election.

Senegalese civil society groups have urged citizens to join a mass movement against the postponement of the presidential election scheduled for this month. They announced a series of actions, such as a protest and a strike, to challenge the decision of President Macky Sall and his supporters in the parliament.

The delay of the February 25 poll until mid-December has sparked the worst political unrest in the West African country in years, which is known for its stability and democracy.

The newly created platform Aar Sunu Election (Let’s protect our election) issued a statement saying: “We invite all citizens concerned by the preservation of democratic gains to mobilise en masse throughout the country and in the diaspora to prevent this seizure of power.”

The platform comprises about 40 groups from various sectors of society, such as religion, education, and profession.

Malick Diop, one of the coordinators of the platform, said to the media in Dakar: “A major demonstration is planned for Tuesday.”

Other speakers at the event also called for a general strike on a date to be determined and a walkout in the education sector from Friday.

The platform appealed to Muslims to wear white clothes and display the national flag during Friday prayers.

The appeal coincides with the emergency meeting of the foreign ministers of West African countries in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, to address the political crisis in Senegal.

The regional bloc ECOWAS has asked Senegal, which is regarded as one of its most stable members, to respect its election calendar. However, some critics have doubted the influence of the group over its increasingly rebellious members.

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