Wisemen Override Sall’s Term Limit

Macky SallSenegal’s President Macky Sall has reneged on his unilateral decision to reduce the presidential term from seven to five years.

The president had, on the sidelines of the world climate conference in Paris in December 2015, said he preferred the five-year tenure.

But in a nationwide broadcast on Tuesday night, he said the decision had been rejected by a five-man Constitutional Council known as ‘Wisemen’.

Five years

President Sall explained that the Wisemen insisted that it would be unconstitutional if he curtailed his term to five years as opposed to seven stipulated by the constitution.

He then went on to announce that a national referendum would take place on March 20, to decide on the tenure.

The pronouncement means that the Senegalese presidential polls will not be held in 2017.


Like his predecessor Abdoulaye Wade, President Sall had promised to reduce the term to five years.

Mr Wade ran a first mandate of seven years and agreed to stand for only five years on a second one, giving him a total of 12 years that ended in 2012.


He had wanted a third term of five years, but was defeated in a tightly-held run-off.

Former French colonies inherited the seven-year presidential term from France.

Neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire has reduced the term to five years.

Culled from Africa Review



  1. Lafia Touray la Manju

    There is nothing stopping him from resigning after five years in office

    • Deyda Haidara

      Indeed Lafia, you are spot on.
      In fact Macky senses that a second term is very remote chance of him winning, so he jived. A second possibility would have been to simply ask the House of Parliament to reverse the law that in fact was passed by them during Wade’s mandate in 2008.
      It’s a pure “Waax, waaxat, waxet” as coined by “Y a en marre”.
      The constitutional Council should be called the council of “wise-tools” for they are all elected by the presidents and dance to the tune of the president of the day.
      Remember in 2012 when Abdoulaye Wade wanted a third term, they metamorphosed into chameleons and sang a chorus of constitutional articles that nearly sent Senegal into chaos. Had it been the Wise religious leaders to calm the society, Senegal would have tasted its first military rule. Then came the power of the voting card that did the job of “No to Wade” third term.
      Gambians should endeavor to taste the value of the power of the voting card to collectively speak one voice. Hopefully December 2016 will be the “voting card graduation day” for Gambians. Collective pride and heroism of a people reside in the cognizance of the power of the card to transform society.

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