Police fired teargas as thousands of people protest in one of Dakar’s central squares, Place de L’Obelisque. They are calling for President Abdoulaye Wade’s to drop his plan to run for a third term as president of Senegal on February 26. The demonstrators – most of them young – are voicing their opposition to the Friday decision of the Constitutional Court to allow the incumbent president to stand for a third term. Police responded as dark fell and youths began throwing stones. Police also are firing cannons of hot water on the crowd. All the leaders of the opposition are attending the rally, as well as invalidated candidate Youssou N’Dour, who made a speech to the passionate crowd encouraging peace – and telling the crowd that Senegal is “our nation” and that they should not spoil it.
As the demonstration got going, the leaders of M23, who organized the event, told people to sit on the floor to express their wish for peace. As they sat down, they sang songs – “the old man is dead,” they sang. “We have had enough. We are taking notice. Society is moving. We respect our Senegal.”
The crowds held their arms in the air, clapping before crossing their fists in the air to indicate that Wade should put an end to his presidency.