Senegal’s President Macky Sall, in fulfillment of his election promise
in 2012, has proposed a referendum to reduce his own term in office
from seven to five years.
Although the date for the referendum is yet to be announced, thechanging of the president’s mandate is part of several proposals for
constitutional reforms to be put to the Senegalese electorate to
endorse or otherwise.
According to a source close to the presidency, these set of proposals
are aimed at further strengthening democracy in Senegal.
President Sall wants to institute a two term limits of five years each
for the tenure of the presidency instead of the present seven years
introduced by his predecessor former President Abdoulie Wade.
With the exception of The Gambia and Togo, where there are no term
limits for the presidency, the proposed amendment seeks to embrace two
consecutive five year two terms that is uniform in most of the
countries in the ECOWAS region.
If the amendment is endorsed by the Senegalese electorate, Mr. Sall
will then put himself up for re-election in 2017 instead of 2019.
This, however, is in stark contrast with recent developments in some
African countries where the incumbents, including such dinosaurs as
Denis SassouNguesso of Congo Brazzaville, who has been in office for
31 years, are changing constitutions to extend their time in power.
The other proposed amendments include an upper age limit of 75 years.