How Senegal abolished its senate to save money.


The Senegalese Senate was established in 2007 with 100 seats: 65 appointed by the president and 35 elected by about 12,000 deputies and local councilors

In late August 2012, President Macky Sall announced plans to abolish the Senate and return to a unicameral chamber. In the midst of a serious flooding that left over 5,000 citizens displaced, he said that scrapping the Senate would save money that would then be directed toward flood prevention: “the relief of the suffering of the people is more important than the Senate, for us to stop the floods that cyclically affect our country

On September 19, 2012 the Senegalese Senate was abolished in a joint-session of Parliament, with Members of Parliament in the National Assembly defeating the 100 Senators opposed to the change. Since 2007, Senegal’s Parliament has been composed of the 150-seat National Assembly (as the lower house) and the 100-seat Senate (as the upper house). The vote also abolished the position of vice-president, although the post had not been filled since its creation in 2009. This move saved the country $15 million

Unlike the national assembly, the senate, had become a symbol of government waste, 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.