Senegalese President gives in to violent protesters
Friday 24 June 2011
The ageing President of Senegal bowed to thousands of violent protesters in the capital Dakar yesterday and agreed to scrap constitutional changes which critics said would have benefited him and his family.
After the demonstrators packed the square in front of the parliament, where MPs had gathered to deliberate the proposals, security forces in riot gear managed to beat back the crowd with fire hoses. But the protest spread, and rioters shut down the main shopping and business area, setting fire to cars and pelting police with bricks and stones.
Then the President's spokesman went on the radio to say they were abandoning the proposed changes that included creating the post of vice-president and lowering the percentage of votes required for a candidate to win office.
The protest marks the biggest challenge yet to President Abdoulaye Wade, who was elected in 1999. He has been widely criticised for trying to run for a third term at 85. If he had secured another term, he would be ruling into his 90s, raising the possibility that he could die in office. He has been giving an increasing share of power to his unpopular eldest child, who is widely viewed as unelectable and whose political coalition was trounced in municipal elections.
The law requires a candidate to have more than 50 per cent of votes cast to win without a runoff. The proposed amendment would have lowered that to 25 per cent.
- 3 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Sir David Attenborough interview: The one question about life that still baffles him
Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: NON-CONTENTIOUS (0-2 PQE) - A rare opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Financial Analyst is required to join...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the South West'...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This major European Intellectual Propert...