Senegal to close senate to save cash
DAKAR, Senegal - The Associated Press
President Sall (L) is seen with his Nigerian counterpart Goodluck Jonathan. AFP photoSenegal’s President Macky Sall announced that he plans to introduce a law which will indefinitely suspend the country’s senate in order to redirect the money used to run the institution to help victims of this week’s flooding, according to comments published on Aug. 29 by the state-run news agency.
“I have decided to immediately put forward a constitutional reform in order to disband the Senate. The resources which would have been used by this institution, close to $1.6 million, will instead be consecrated to finding a solution to the flooding,” Sall said, according to the Senegalese Press Agency.
Sall, a former head of the National Assembly, was elected this April, promising to stem the corruption which had characterized the former regime.
According to a U.S. Embassy cable, published by WikiLeaks, the senators each receive a monthly salary of around $2,000, a new car and a monthly gasoline allowance. Most of Senegal’s 12.7 million people live on $158 a month, according to U.S. State Department statistics. Because none of the senators were directly elected by the people, they were seen as not being accountable to the population and as a rubber stamp for the ruling party.