Senegal’s highest court ruled just after midnight on Monday that the West African country’s aging leader was eligible to run for a third term in next month’s election, rejecting appeals filed by the opposition and eliminating the last legal avenue for challenging President Abdoulaye Wade’s candidacy. The court also rejected the appeal of music icon Youssou Ndour, stating that his candidacy was invalidated because he did not file enough valid signatures. The opposition has called on the country’s increasingly disenfranchised population to rise up against Wade, and protests are expected this week. When the constitutional court issued its initial ruling Friday and approved Wade’s third-term bid, angry youths clashed with security forces, stoning a police officer to death.
The court’s decision extinguishes any hope that the country’s political crisis will be resolved through legal means, and the opposition’s increasingly strident calls for a popular uprising has many worried that this normally peaceful nation could slide into conflict.
“The constitution has been violated by Wade,” said Idrissa Seck, a former prime minister under Wade who is now one of the 13 opposition candidates trying to unseat him. “We need to remain on our feet in order to protect it. This constitutional coup d’etat by Wade is part and parcel of the ruling party’s monarchic ambitions.”
Full Article: Senegal president clear to run for 3rd term