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Senegal holds national dialogue to discuss constitutional reforms

Senegal holds national dialogue to discuss constitutional reforms

Senegal

Two months after Senegal’s referendum which was won by the YES campaign, a national dialogue proposed by president Macky Sall has opened.

The president on Saturday, met religious leaders, representatives of civil society and political actors.

The forum will discuss 15 points from the referendum with the reduction of the presidential term from 7 to 5 years expected to top the agenda.

The forum is also expected to among others discuss the creation of parliamentary seats for Senegalese in the diaspora, health, education and security.

The president is quoted by RFI at the opening of the dialogue saying that the “constitutional amendment brings more certainty to our political system”.

Macky Sall who was elected in 2012, as part of the proposed reforms, called for a reduction of the presidential term from 7 to 5 years.

Although the country’s constitutional court has backed the cut in presidental term, Sall has been criticised for not proposing to cut his own first term as he had pledged before he was elected.

The term limit will take effect in 2019.

Some opposition parties have reportedly boycotted the dialogue but former president Abdoulaye Wade’s Senegalese Democratic Party is said to have joined the forum despite an earlier decision not to participate.