Senegal opposition MPs arrested in poll row crackdown

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Three opposition Senegalese opposition MPs have been arrested in the fallout from parliament’s decision to postpone the presidential election by 10 months.

The spokesperson for dissolved opposition party Pastef, El Malick Ndiaye, told Reuters news agency that the three lawmakers from the opposition coalition Yewwi Askan Wi were arrested on Tuesday.

On Monday, lawmakers approved a last-minute amendment to hold the vote in December, extending President Macky Sall’s mandate.

Most opposition MPs had been forcibly removed from the chamber after heated debates.

The delay has sparked widespread protests and international concern about Senegal’s democracy – among the most stable in the region.

The US Department of State in a statement said the move was “contrary to Senegal’s strong democratic tradition”.

The West African regional bloc, Ecowas, has urged politicians to urgently re-establish an electoral calendar in line with the constitution.

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