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Senegal’s government cuts internet access as lawmakers debate bill on election delay

Senegal’s government has restricted access to the mobile internet as opposition leaders and supporters launched protests against President Macky Sall’s decision to postpone the Feb. 25 presidential election over an electoral dispute

DAKAR, Senegal — Senegal’s government on Monday restricted access to the mobile internet as opposition leaders and supporters launched protests against President Macky Sall’s decision to postpone the Feb. 25 presidential election over an electoral dispute.

The mobile internet access in the capital Dakar and other parts of the country was cut as federal lawmakers were set to debate a bill that could extend Sall’s tenure beyond April 2, when he is due to vacate office.

The Ministry of Communication, Telecommunications and Digital Economy said the internet was cut “due to the dissemination of several hateful and subversive messages relayed on social networks in the context of threats and disturbances to public order.”

The measure further deepens political tensions in one of Africa’s most stable democracies since Sall’s decision on Saturday to postpone the crucial vote. He cited a dispute between the judiciary and parliament over the disqualification of some candidates and the reported dual nationality of some qualified candidates.

 

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