Senegal's top court rejects president Macky Sall's bid to shorten his term

On a continent where leaders go to extremes to cling to office, it's unusual to have one who tries to leave early - then being told by court he can't

SENEGALESE leader Macky Sall said Tuesday the country’s top court had rejected his proposal to cut his current presidential term by two years to five.

Sall had proposed 15 reforms in all, including limiting presidential terms to two mandates and expanding the powers of the national assembly and the constitutional council.

“On the implementation of reducing the mandate of the president, the constitutional council recommended that this should be scrapped,” Sall said in a brief television address, referring to his ongoing term which is due to end in 2019.

But shortened presidential terms from then onwards and the other reforms will be put to a referendum on March 20, he said.

In March last year, Sall had said reducing his own mandate would set an example, making good on his election campaign pledge.

“We have to understand, in Africa too, that we are able to offer an example, and that power is not an end in itself,” he said.

African nations where laws have been changed to the benefit of their incumbent leaders include Algeria, Angola, Chad, Djibouti and Uganda.

The United States and European Union have also criticised Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s intention to run for a third term following a constitutional amendment.

Burundi descended into bloodshed in April last year when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his intention to run for a controversial third term, sparking a failed coup.

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