Senegalese MPs to debate poll delay row amid protests

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Senegal President Macky Sall

Senegalese lawmakers are due to debate a proposal to postpone the presidential election scheduled for later this month.

President Macky Sall announced on Saturday the vote would be delayed following a dispute about the eligibility of candidates, sparking a wave of criticism from opposition leaders and international concern.

The announcement triggered protests on Sunday with security forces firing tear gas to disperse hundreds of people in the capital, Dakar.

Several people, including former Prime Minister Aminata Touré and Anta Babacar Ngom, one of the presidential candidates in the election, were arrested.

A local privately owned TV station was reportedly taken off air as it broadcast the protests live.

Some opposition politicians have described Mr Sall’s announcement as a constitutional coup. He has said he would not run for re-election.

The parliament on Monday will debate a proposal to hold the vote on 25 August and keep Mr Sall in power until his successor is installed, according to the text of the bill seen by Reuters news agency.

There have been international calls for a new date to be set as soon as possible due to fears of further instability.

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