Dozens injured in pre-election violence in Senegal
Feb 19, 2012, 13:09 GMT
Dakar - Dozens of people have been injured in the latest violence in the run-up to the Senegalese presidential election where incumbent Abdoulaye Wade is standing for a third term, media reports said Sunday.
Security forces clashed with opposition supporters in Dakar as they protested against a constitutional court ruling that paved the way for 85-year-old Wade to stand for another term on February 26.
On Saturday, police used teargas to disperse protesters. Among the dozens injured was an opposition presidential candidate, Cheikh Bamba Dieye, Agence de Presse Senegalaise reported.
At least four people have died in the unrest in the West African country since the court exempted Wade from a two-term presidential term limit on the basis that the changes to the constitution in 2008 came into effect after he had served a first term as president.
The same court meanwhile declared the candidacy of Grammy award-winning singer Youssou N'Dour invalid, saying he did not have the required number of verifiable signatures to support his bid.
N'Dour, in an interview published by a British newspaper on Sunday, sharply criticized Wade and said the siution in Senegal was 'bad' and the country needs a renaissance.
'The president is behaving like a king. He is earning perhaps 25 times the salary of your David Cameron, and just simply handing out houses to people. He throws money at them to keep them quiet. How is that possible?' N'Dour, 52, told The Telegraph.
Wade is to face 13 opposition contenders in the election. With the term of office of president recently extended from five to seven years, a victory for Wade would mean retirement at age 92.