With 16 months to go before the next presidential election, the battle is in full swing within Pastef, and its president, Ousmane Sonko, no longer wants to “waste time”. Hardly has coalition leader Yewwi Askan Wi (YAW) taken the reins from Network of Local Elected Representatives of Senegal, an association of opposition mayors, which he began on October 16, a national tour. “I am aware of the issues and I know that people are eager to see us on the ground again, he said at a press conference, before calling on his activists to avoid any “folklore and assembly”.
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Despite these precautions, some scuffles between activists and the police broke out during his trip to the department of Mbour, the first stage of this tour of Senegal which must drive him to all regions of the country by July 2023. His procession came under several tear gas canister fire as dozens of supporters gathered spontaneously in his path. Clashes very quickly denounced by the mayor of Ziguinchor, who sees it as a maneuver by his political opponents. “The act taken by Macky Sall today to prevent me from visiting Senegalese citizens is a danger to democracy and the individual and collective freedoms guaranteed by our constitution,” he said on Twitter.