West Africa – Former Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade and his supporters came under serious attack from Senegalese security forces loyal to current president Macky Sall during a rally organized by the ex-president to support members of his party vying for legislative seats in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
The Senegalese police blocked roads and fired tear gas at Wade’s supporters on Tuesday, provoking a tirade against current President Macky Sall from the 91-year-old Wade.
“The march didn’t happen. The police blocked the way,” Wade told journalists, speaking in the local Wolof language.
In another incidence, security forces in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, tear-gassed other opposition activists who tried to protest ahead of Sunday’s legislative elections in a square close to the presidential palace, declared off-limits by the authorities.
Other group of activists who tried to reach the city’s Place de l’Independance (Independence Square) by side streets were also tear-gassed with at least several arrested.
Former president Wade, who led Senegal from 2000 to 2012 and now heads up an opposition list for Sunday’s legislative election, called the demonstration himself in rebuke of President Sill’s leadership.
The former president said he is “proud” to be 91 years old and still on the campaign trail, Wade maintains that he is not seeking a return to become president for a third term, following an abortive attempt to do just that in the 2012’s presidential election that put him against his former protégé and former prime minister Macky Sall.
On Monday, President Sall went to the country’s constitutional council to try to relax the voting rules so people without voting cards could use passports or other forms of identification to vote. But that initiative was rejected by several political parties and opposition coalitions.