Senegal’s parliament to debate on elimination of PM position

APA – Dakar (Sénégal)

Senegal’s National Assembly will hold a plenary session on May 4th to debate the elimination of the Prime Minister position, a bill initiated by President Macky Sall.

According to the plenary session copied to APA on Friday, the session will begin at 10 a.m. and the constitutional bill will be defended by the newly named Justice Minister, Malick Sall.

In broad terms, this constitutional reform will cover some twenty articles out of the hundred or so (articles) in the Constitution and aim to speed up or as President Sall put it “Fast Track” administrative procedures.

According to Le Soleil, adopting the bill will result in a more detailed presidential regime, as the head of state will maintain direct relations with his ministers.

However, the balance between executive and legislative will be maintained, the national daily noted; adding that National Assembly will no longer be empowered to implement the government's accountability procedures regarding motion of censure or confidence.

For his part, the President will lose his power to dissolve the legislative power, thus making the mandate of an MP irrevocable, Le Soleil added.

Rejection of the opposition

Silent at first, the opposition, especially through its four unfortunate presidential candidates in a statement issued on Thursday rejected the draft law amending the Constitution for various reasons.

In form, Idrissa Seck, Ousmane Sonko, Issa Sall and Madické Niang oppose it on the grounds that it will be passed handily because it will be submitted to an institution constituted in its overwhelming majority by members of the presidential coalition.

In essence, the opponents deplore “the fact that such substantial amendments to the Constitution have been initiated in the absence of any form of consultation.”

On this basis, “the initiative to abolish the Prime Minister position requires a new consultation of the people” in other words a referendum.

“This project was not mentioned in any of the programmes proposed to Senegalese during the presidential election on February 24, 2019,” the opposition said.

Responding to the opponents, El Hadj Hamidou Kassé, a senior official of the Alliance for the Republic (APR, in power), described the opposition’s move as “curious,” according to a statement received at APA

“After rejecting the President’s call for dialogue, after declaring that they do not recognise the democratically elected President in a transparent manner, how can they, without cause, explanation and justification, ask the Head of State to consult (with them!) before submitting a draft reform of the Constitution to the National Assembly, which is his prerogative under the Constitution?”, Mr. Kassé wondered.

According to Walf Quotidien, apart from the opposition, civil society movements such as “Y en a marre,” the FDS and FRAPP are mobilising and “calling for revolt this Saturday,” the day the draft law will be examined by the National Assembly.


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