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Campaign underway in Senegal ahead of referendum

Campaign underway in Senegal ahead of referendum

Senegal

Campaign has began in Senegal ahead of the referendum scheduled for March 20.

Campaigners from both the Yes and No camps are embarking on a door-to-door campaign as they have just one week to convince voters to join their camps.

Opposition parties and civil rights activists have called on the public to reject the proposed reforms and have dismissed the exercise as meaningless.

President Macky Sall has failed to reduce the presidential term from seven to five years prompting the referendum which will allow the public to accept or reject his proposal.

The president recently announced on state television that the ruling of the country’s constitutional court was binding in spite of his best intentions. The court ruled that Macky Sall cannot change the presidential term until the end of his tenure in 2019.

The referendum is on 15 issues which include giving more freedom to the media and the number of years one could serve as president of the West African nation.

The presidential term could be revised downwards but would only take effect after 2019 when Macky Sall’s tenure has ended.

Senegal has been hailed for its democracy and been touted as a shining example on the African continent.

President Macky Sall’s bid to reduce the presidential term has earned him praise from the international community. His action is a rare occurrence in Africa where many leaders change their constitutions to allow them to stay in office longer.

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