FILE PHOTO: Senegal's former President Abdoulaye Wade greets a crowd upon his arrival in Dakar April 26, 2014. REUTERS/Mamadou Gomis

SENEGAL’S main opposition
group has threatened to
boycott future elections
because the parliamentary
polls that delivered a large
majority to the ruling coalition
were a “masquerade”.
President Macky Sall’s
coalition took 125 seats in the
165-seat National Assembly
after winning nearly half the
vote, according to the results
announced on Aug. 4.
The coalition of 91-year-old former president Abdoulaye
Wade, whom Sall defeated in a
2012 presidential election, won
19 seats.
Another led by Dakar Mayor
Khalifa Sall, who has been
detained in a corruption probe
for the past six months that his
supporters say is politically
motivated, won seven seats.
“The coordination of
opposition parties Wattu
Senegal … will no longer
participate in any election of any kind organised by the
government of Macky Sall,”
Wade said in a statement on
TV.
“It will oppose by all means
any attempt by Macky Sall to
organise a similar masquerade
at a national level.”
The peaceful and well
organised 2012 poll reinforced
Senegal’s reputation as one
of West Africa’s most stable
democracies.
In the July legislative poll, many hundreds of Senegalese
voters were prevented from
casting their ballots because
of delays in issuing biometric
voting cards, prompting the
opposition to cry foul.
Opposition leaders have
criticised Sall for trying to
stamp out the opposition.
Demonstrations in Dakar are
often blocked by tear gaswielding
police.
The next presidential
election is in 2019.

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