Senegal: Senegal Gears Up for Crucial Referendum to Amend Constitution | allAfrica.com

The political barometer in Senegal is getting higher and tenser by the day as the country approaches a crucial referendum scheduled to be held on March 20 on 15 proposals for amendment of the Constitution submitted by President Macky Sall. It would be recalled that during his campaign for the presidential elections in 2012, President Sall made an undertaking that if elected, he was going to reduce the present seven-year presidential mandate to five years. Ever since he was elected in 2012, he had been repeating that promise both locally and at international forums. However, at the beginning of this year, he sought the advice of the Constitutional Council, which is Senegal’s highest body for interpretation of the Constitution, for its take on his wish to reduce his mandate. In its response, the Constitutional Council said while he could reduce the mandate to five years, he could not do so with his current term as he swore to serve seven years and as such, he has no power to change that to five years and that it can only come into effect in the next term after it is approved in a referendum.

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