Senegal’s Presidency issued a statement earlier this month on the reduction of the presidential term which has taken effect immediately.

Macky Sall
Macky Sall
Political opponents have since expressed doubts over the president’s real intentions, Sall however has reiterated his real motif.

“I was democratically elected. I did not use weapons to come to power. I neither stole nor rigged to have this mandate. It is Senegalese themselves who voted for me,” he said.

“It is me who took the decision to institute these reforms because when we stay in power for long, we have a tendency to start thinking the country belongs to us. This is why I decided to serve for only two terms,” the president said over the weekend while on a visit to Senegal’s central region of Louga.

Sall said he had acted on his own volition, but blamed some people within the political class of being too quick to judge the real intentions of reducing his term limit.

The condemnation has not just come from his political opponents, but also from some members of his own party who have been calling for the retention of the presidential term to seven years.

Speaking to a local newspaper, the leader of the Movement for Democracy and the Republic (MRD), ex-minister Pape Diouf, expressed confidence in the president for respecting his commitment.

“With regards to the debate on the reduction of the presidential term period, MDR has always supported the president for respecting his commitment,” Diouf said.

“We have no reason to doubt him. It was a promise of a presidential candidate, then a commitment by the president of the republic. At this level, there can be no jokes regarding what he says,” the former minister said.
Given the persistence of controversy on the issue, he said Senegal’s Constitution should be amended so that it is not at the mercy of political leaders.

“This is why I am asking that we give our lawyers time to come up with a better proposal that will guarantee stability. In established democracies like the U.S. or France, they do not change constitutions easily as we do it here,” Diouf said.

As for Babacar Gueye, a Law professor at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, the president should respect his promise to reduce his term period from seven years to five years for stability in the country.

“If the president does not reduce his term period, there will be a conflict in the country between him and his opponents. Peace and stability entirely depends on him. He must respect the commitment he made before people,” Gueye said.

Should the plan to reduce the presidential term period succeed, Senegal will hold presidential elections in 2017 instead of 2019. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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