More than 100 political and civil society groups in Senegal on Sunday formed a coalition to oppose a third term for President Macky Sall.
In a statement issued ten months before the presidential elections, the coalition urged Sall to respect the constitution and refrain from running for a third "illegal and illegitimate" term.
The president, who has been in office since 2012, has not stated his intentions, but he rejects claims that re-election would be unconstitutional.
Mamadou Mbodj, the coordinator of the F24 Movement of Vital Forces, is mobilizing members in May:
"F24 intends to stand up to the current regime and vigorously oppose this attempt to confiscate the law."
As a first step, F24 invites Senegalese to mobilize on May 12, 2023, for a large mobilization against Macky Sall's unconstitutional third candidacy."
His main political opponent, Ousmane Sonko, was among several opposition leaders present at the coalition's formation.
According to its organizers, more than 120 parties signed the charter of the F24 Movement of Vital Forces on Sunday.
It also demands the release of "political detainees" detained during protests over a defamation case filed against Sonko by Tourism Minister Mame Mbaye Niang, a member of Sall's party.
For weeks, tensions have been high throughout the country, with protests bringing the capital Dakar to a halt.
Sonko received a two-month suspended sentence in court at the end of March, following a trial in which his lawyers stated that he would not be barred from running for president in 2024.
An appeal was filed against the ruling, and Sonko is scheduled to be heard on Monday.
Sonko's fate is also intertwined with another case in which he is accused of rape, a charge he denies.
He and his supporters accuse the government of attempting to prevent him from running in next year's election by using the legal system.
Sonko is accused by the presidential party of attempting to paralyze the country and inciting public outrage to avoid prosecution.
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