Leaders of the C25 opposition coalition have called for a demonstration to take place in Dakar on Tuesday, January 8, beginning at 15:00 (local time), to denounce the recent Constitutional Court decision to reject their sponsorship ahead of the February 24 presidential elections, as well as in support of Khalifa Sall, Dakar's former mayor, whose candidacy was dismissed as he is serving a prison sentence for fraud.
A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected near related demonstrations. Further protests are possible in the coming days and weeks.
Sall, a leading politician in the opposition coalition and mayor of Dakar, has been in prison since March 2017 on embezzlement charges. He was nevertheless elected to parliament in July 2017, without being able to take his seat. In November 2017, the National Assembly lifted Sall's parliamentary immunity, allowing his trial to proceed and prompting his supporters to stage a series of protests throughout Dakar. On August 30, 2018, the Court condemned him to five years in prison and on August 31, he was dismissed from the mayor's position. On January 3, the high court's verdict uphold its five-year prison sentence. Opposition leaders and monitoring groups have accused the government of jailing Khalifa Sall to block him and other opposition candidates from running for president in the February 24, 2019, general elections. Another leading opposition figure, former Minister Karim Wade, will also be unable to contest President Macky Sall in the upcoming elections due to convictions.
Individuals in Dakar are advised to avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, budget extra time to travel within the city due to expected traffic disruptions, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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