Senegal’s ex-president urges presidential vote boycott

Government spokesman says former leader’s comments irresponsible

Senegal’s ex-president urges presidential vote boycott

By Alpha Kamara

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone

Former President Abdulaye Wade urged supporters of his party to boycott the presidential election scheduled for Feb. 24.

In a radio broadcast on Friday afternoon on Walfagiri TV, Wade says the youths of his Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) should even attack polling stations to stop voting.

"We members of the PDS, will not participate in the elections,” Wade said in a radio broadcast. “I am therefore calling for a total boycott or even attack some of the stations to disrupt the election. Under the current circumstances, the polls will not be free, fair and transparent."

Government spokesman Seydou responded on national television condemning Wade and said a quick action must be taken.

"The former president’s utterances are unacceptable. He is not a candidate in this election,” said Gueye. “Calling for people to disturb the process is an offence punishable by law. As a government we have a responsibility to ensure that there is peace ahead of the polls. We have made all arrangements for the polls to hold on February 24 and we will not allow anyone to stop that."

Wade led Senegal from 2000 - 2012

Five candidates are vying for the the poll with incumbent President Macky Sall the favorite to win a second term.

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