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Senegal street clashes rage

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 01:46

Feb 22 - Clashes between police and protesters rage in Senegal's capital Dakar, as the country is gripped by a row over whether incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade should be allowed to run for a third term. Travis Brecher reports.

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Hundreds of opposition supporters clash with Senegalese security forces in the capital Dakar. A Reuters witness says police are firing tear gas, while demonstrators hurl rocks in return. These crowds are demonstrating against President Wade's candidacy for a third term in office ahead of a poll set for Sunday. Six people have been killed in election-related violence so far. Tuesday's clashes underscore mounting tension in Senegal, which has enjoyed decades of democracy but is gripped by a row over whether Wade should be allowed to run for a third term. Wade's rivals say his candidacy is illegal because it breaches rules setting a two-term limit. And they accuse him of backtracking on his own statements that he would not stand for re-election. But the President now says he is eligible to run as the limits were added to the constitution after he had started his first term in 2000. The unrest has also raised concerns over the Interior Ministry's ban on demonstrations - a rule which has drawn criticism from European Union observers. The E.U. mission has called on all sides to refrain from violence - but also added that Senegalese law technically permits demonstrations when they involve presidential candidates. Travis Brecher, Reuters

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Senegal street clashes rage

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 01:46