Remember late last year when our hearts were all aglow with the news that Senegal’s President, Macky Sall was intent on reducing his country’s term limits, a direct opposite to many of his peers who took remaining in power to new, upgraded levels. We sang odes to his greatness, waxed poetic about his inspirational actions and just all round smiled for the sheer happiness of finally having a President keep his word on this issue.
Well, taking nothing from President Macky Sall’s forward thinking action, the country’s highest court has rejected his proposal to reduce his term limit from the current 7 years to 5. This will mean that President Macky Sall will remain in office until the end of 2019. The President gave a televised address last night where he said that he would put the proposed constitutional change to a referendum on 20 March. He declared that “A five-year term is in line with international electoral standards for a democracy that claims to be mature and modern like ours”.
Sall had proposed 15 reforms in all to the court or constitutional council, which included; limiting presidential terms to two mandates, reducing Presidential tenures from 7 years to 5 (starting as he promised, with his) and expanding the powers of the national assembly and the constitutional council.
It seems that President Macky Sall keeps giving us good news to write about because after-all where else has it been heard that a President pushed for lowering term limits, started with himself, pursued the matter to the highest court, was turned down by said highest court and then took to a televised broadcast to announce a referendum that would enable the people take the power in their hands and lower said limit for anyone coming after him. We guess Macky Sall himself said it best in March of last year;
“We have to understand, in Africa too, that we are able to offer an example, and that power is not an end in itself,”.