Election Crisis in Senegal Prompts Repeat Internet Shutdown


Widespread protests erupted across Senegal after President Macky Sall announced on Saturday that he was postponing the presidential election originally scheduled for February 25th. In an attempt to curb the unrest, authorities imposed an internet blackout starting Sunday night. This marks the latest instance of Senegal clamping down on internet access amid political tensions.

Sall justified the decision by citing conflicts between parliament and the judiciary surrounding candidate eligibility rules. Meanwhile, lawmakers are now preparing to debate a bill recommending an election delay of up to six months. If passed, this could potentially push the next election to August, well after Sall’s term concludes.

In response to this sudden election delay, protests erupted across Senegal on Sunday. Opposition leaders quickly denounced the postponement as an unconstitutional move by Sall to extend his tenure beyond the two-term limit. More demonstrations were anticipated as tensions have been escalating in the country over the last year.

Amidst the growing protests, Senegal’s Minister of Communication Moussa Bocar Thiam announced a shutdown of mobile internet services starting Sunday night. Thiam claimed this drastic measure was necessary to stop the spread of hateful messages on social media that threatened public order.

This is not the first instance of Senegal clamping down on internet access in the face of opposition protests. A similar blackout occurred in June 2023 following the arrest of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko.

In response to the latest shutdown, press freedom advocates like the Committee to Protect Journalists have expressed grave concern, demanding the government immediately restore internet access.

Additionally, regional leaders are urging action. The Economic Community of West African States has pressed Senegalese authorities to promptly set a new election date.

Critics have accused President Sall of intentionally delaying the vote to extend his grip on power beyond the two-term limit. Sall was first elected in 2012 and won again in 2019 after a constitutional reform reset the term limits.

With the election postponed indefinitely, Senegal now faces an uncertain political situation. The opposition has vowed to boycott any election delay beyond the constitutionally allowed 90-day window.

Looking ahead, the coming days will test Senegal’s democracy and stability, as the possibility of further protests and unrest looms. The internet blackout amidst this tense electoral crisis highlights the threats to freedom of information and civil liberties in the country.



What do you think?

0 points
Upvote Downvote

Total votes: 0

Upvotes: 0

Upvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Downvotes: 0

Downvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Helpmum from Nigeria Receives $225K Grant, Joins Africa Visionary Fund’s 4th Cohort

Renda Africa Unveils Revolutionary Fulfillment Technology to Propel Business Expansion Across the Continent