Senegal’s president has blinked in the face of riots in the capital Dakar and withdrawn all his proposed changes to the country’s electoral law.
The 85 year-old Abdoulaye Wade, in power for the last 11 years, initially junked his proposal to halve the 50 percent of the vote threshold granting victory in the first round of a presidential election to just 25 percent.
Hours later he scrapped the entire package, which included creating a vice-presidential job, widely seen as tailor-made for his son, Karim, and paving the way for a handover of power to him.
His rivals saw the threshold change as a ploy virtually guaranteeing his re-election next February, as the opposition is currently fragmented.
The electoral reforms did unite students, trades unions, opposition politicians, and civil groups, all of whom denounced the reforms or took part in the protests. 10 people were reported injured in the clashes.