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Riots rage on streets of Dakar

Friday, June 24, 2011 - 00:38

June 24 - Running clashes erupt between protesters and riot police over proposed electoral changes. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Riot police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon in running clashes with stone-throwing anti-government protesters on the streets of Senegal's capital. Rubbish and several vehicles were set alight during the violence in Dakar on Thursday. Trouble erupted over proposals to change the country's electoral law by cutting the minimum proportion of votes needed to win presidential elections from 50 to 25 per cent, a move opponents say would have guaranteed the re-election of President Abdoulaye Wade. Wade backed down after the bill sparked violence. A government spokesman said the president had listened to the Senegalese people, development partners and religious leaders, and had decided to keep the present system. Wade is also seeking to create the position of vice president, which his rivals say is being made so he can pass on power to his son Karim, who is already a "super minister" in charge of a quarter of the nation's budget. This proposal remains in the bill. The EU, a top Senegalese donor, had warned on Wednesday (June 22) that the election rule changes risked undermining the credibility of the election and needed wider debate.

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Riots rage on streets of Dakar

Friday, June 24, 2011 - 00:38