Senegal. The year was marked by protests against the government, partly for political reasons and partly because of the protracted electricity shortage in the country.
In June, the worst demonstrations so far under President Abdoulaye Wade’s eleven years broke out in power. According to Countryaah official site, the reason was that the president had proposed a constitutional amendment that would allow him to stand in the 2012 presidential election, which the then constitution did not allow since he had already been re-elected once. Wade proposed a reduction in the vote needed to win the presidential election in the first round, from over 50 to 25 percent. Wade also wanted to create a new post as popularly elected vice president. The proposals were to be debated in Parliament on June 23, which led to violent protests that day. Thousands of angry Senegalese, many of them young people, gathered outside the parliament building in the capital Dakar. Some of them threw stones at the police and set fire to cars and buildings. Protests also occurred elsewhere in the capital and in other cities. The government critics felt that the constitutional proposals were only a way for 85-year-old Wade to retain power. They also accused him of trying to get son Karim Wade in as vice president and eventually as his successor. The previous year, Karim Wade had been given the post of Minister of Energy and Transport. Police dispelled protesters with tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets. The protests prompted Wade to withdraw his proposal for constitutional amendments. Police dispelled protesters with tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets. The protests prompted Wade to withdraw his proposal for constitutional amendments. Police dispelled protesters with tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets. The protests prompted Wade to withdraw his proposal for constitutional amendments.
But calm did not last long. Just four days later, new violent protests erupted, this time because of the pent-up anger over the long-standing electricity shortage in the country. Electricity supply is not enough and power outages, which sometimes last a couple of days in a row, are very common. Power outages affect both households and commercial operations. Companies that do not have their own power plants periodically cannot operate. The protesters set fire to more government buildings and the state electricity company Senelec’s office. Similar demonstrations took place in other parts of the country, including the city of Mbour. Again, the demonstrators were stopped by rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons.
In early July, the president’s son Karim Wade went out in an open letter denying that he was trying to “inherit” the presidential power of his father. He assured that the president had no such intentions either, and said he was subject to a hate campaign.
At the end of July, the government banned political demonstrations in central Dakar “for security reasons”. The ban was criticized and the newly formed “June 23 Movement” held its planned demonstration a bit outside the capital July 23. The movement was formed and took its name after the violent protests against the president a month earlier. The following day, supporters of President Wade held a large demonstration in Dakar in support of his reelection to a third term.
On December 23, President Wade announced that he would stand in the presidential election (in violation of the Constitution) in February 2012 as a candidate for the ruling party PDS-Liberál.