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  • Author or Editor: Łukasz Jakubiak x
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Abstract

The paper is devoted to the role of the head of state in initiating and implementing constitutional reforms in Senegal. This country can legitimately be regarded as one of the few examples of a relatively successful democratization process in Africa, as evidenced, among other things, by the lack of military coups leading to the loss of power by civilian governments, as well as by two democratic transfers of power (in 2000–2001 and 2012), after which the main opposition parties gained the presidency and the majority of parliamentary seats. Both these fundamental political transformations generated important constitutional changes (for example, the adoption of the current Constitution of 2001, or the constitutional modifications of 2016 and 2019) that have influenced, to a greater or lesser extent, the position of the presidency in Senegalese systems of government. The author analyses their significance for the functioning of contemporary political institutions in the broader context set by the politics of constitutional amendment which was conducted by previous presidents of this country. The main goal of the paper is to examine to what extent the constitutional modifications introduced before and after the adoption of the 2001 Constitution were designed to contribute to the beginning or consolidation of pro-democratic trends, and to what extent they were created to strengthen the position of an incumbent president himself, leading to a political imbalance and regress in the democratization process. The author argues that the constitutional modifications adopted over the years have often gone in two opposite directions, influencing the efficiency and durability of Senegalese institutional structures.

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