Last week, Senegalese lawmakers voted to do away with the senate, passing a law which dissolves the institution in order to save an estimated $15 million.
The nation’s Minister of Justice Aminata Toure explained that the suppression of the senate was intended to curb government spending, and will provide the cash needed to help the victims of recent rains that left thousands homeless and killed at least 13 people.
Unlike the national assembly, the senate is a relatively recent institution, and has become a symbol of government waste.
It’s been frequently pilloried and described as an instrument of cronyism — a way to reward loyal party workers who did not get elected to the larger national assembly.
Around half the senators are directly appointed by the president.
They also voted to abolish the office of vice president which was established in 2009 by the then President Abdoulaye Wade.
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