Senegal Voters Back Reducing Presidential Terms in Referendum

Voters in Senegal backed changing the constitution to reduce presidential terms, a departure from the recent trend in Africa of altering the rules so leaders can stay in power for longer.

A package of 15 constitutional amendments, including cutting the presidential mandate to five years from seven years, passed with 62 percent in favor amid a turnout of 38 percent, Agence Presse Senegalaise reported. President Macky Sall has supported presidential-term reform, which will take effect after his current mandate ends in 2019.

Since last year, leaders in nations from Rwanda to Djibouti have shown their resolve to cling to power, while moves to extend presidential terms limits sparked protests and violence in Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo.

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