Senegal Bans Opposition Rally
In response to Senegal prohibiting a February 27 protest by opponents of shortening presidential terms to five years from seven, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The government’s move to limit freedom of assembly is a worrisome development in one of Africa’s most democratic countries,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director for Africa programs. “The Sall administration should continue to set an example for other leaders in the region by respecting peoples’ fundamental right to peacefully assemble and freely speak regardless of their political views.”
President Macky Sall proposed in March 2015 to reduce presidential terms to five years, a welcomed move that contrasts with other sub-Saharan states’ disregard of term limits. After the Constitutional Court rejected the proposal in February 2016, Sall said he would complete his current term, ending in 2019. The country is scheduled to vote on a similar proposal on March 20 along with 14 other constitutional changes.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.