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Senegal dissolves main opposition party PASTEF, leader announces hunger strike

Senegalese authorities have taken a decisive action by dissolving the African Patriots of Senegal for Work, Ethics, and Fraternity (PASTEF), the main opposition party.

The dissolution was carried out on Monday, July 31, citing a serious and permanent breach of Article 4 of the country’s constitution, leading to loss of lives.

In a statement, the Interior Minister, Antoine Felix Abdoulaye Diome, accused the party of promoting insurrection movements that resulted in the looting and plunder of public and state property.

“The PASTEF political party, through its leaders and its authorities has frequently called on its supporters to insurrectional movements, which has led to serious consequences, including loss of life, many wounded, as well as acts of looting of public and private property”

The government added that, “Following these events which constitute a serious and permanent breach of the obligations of political parties and in accordance with the provisions of article 4 of the Constitution and article 4 of law n ° 81-17 of May 06, 1981 relating to political parties, amended by Law No. 89-36 of October 12, 1989, the political party PASTEF is dissolved by Decree No. 2023-1407 of July 31, 2023.
Consequently, the government maintained that “assets of the dissolved party will be liquidated in accordance with the legal and regulatory provisions in force.”

This move comes after the country’s communication ministry restricted internet access on Monday July 31 2023 due to what it called the spread of “hate messages” on social networks.

In response, Ousmane Sonko, the detained Senegalese opposition leader, has declared a hunger strike and invited all political detainees to join him.

Eight charges including stealing of a mobile phone have been leveled against the 49-year-old opposition front runner.

His political career could be in danger if found guilty of these charges.

Find below the full communique issued by the Senegalese authorities on this matter.

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