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Senegal’s M23 Opposition Group Plans Further Anti-Wade Protests

Two presidential candidates and the opposition group Mouvement 23 plan to hold a protest in Dakar, Senegal’s capital, as demonstrations against President Abdoulaye Wade continue five days before the country votes.

The groups will gather at the Place de l’Independence, a public square in the center of Dakar, later today, said Oumar Diallo, a lawyer with Senegalese human-rights group Raddho, which is part of M23. Candidates Idrissa Seck and Cheikh Bamba Dieye are taking part, he said by phone today.

Place de l’Independence is “a symbolic place when you think about Senegal’s independence,” Diallo said. Protests at that location have not been authorized by Senegal’s government, he said.

At least nine people have been killed and dozens injured in the demonstrations where protesters have clashed with police, according to U.K.-based Amnesty International’s Senegal office. The protests started on Jan. 27 when the Constitutional Court approved Wade’s bid to run for a third term in office in the Feb. 26 election. The leader argued that a law limiting presidential tenures to two didn’t apply to him because he was already in office when it was enacted.

Wade faces 13 candidates in the vote. A second round will be held next month if no one wins 50 percent of ballots.

A demonstration yesterday held by Y’en a Marre, another group that opposes Wade’s third-term bid, was peaceful, said Alioune Sane, a spokesman for the group.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rose Skelton in Dakar via Accra at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emily Bowers at

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