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Liaison legislature: the role of the National Assembly in Senegal

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 February 2005

Melissa A. Thomas
Affiliation:
Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector at the University of Maryland, College Park, United States.
Oumar Sissokho
Affiliation:
University of Geneva and University of Dakar.

Abstract

A sparse literature examines African legislatures, generally thought to be weak and unimportant. Unlike many African countries that reintroduced multiparty politics in the 1990s, Senegal did so in the 1970s. In 2000, it joined the select group of African countries to experience democratic alternance. What role does the National Assembly play in light of these important steps in democratic consolidation? This article describes the operation of the National Assembly, with attention to its role in legislation, appropriations, executive oversight, constituent service and representation. The article concludes that despite Senegal's democratic advances, the operation of the National Assembly echoes much earlier studies of other African legislatures. These studies found that the legislatures did not play strong roles in legislation, appropriations or executive oversight, but instead played less formal roles such as constituent service and lobbying the administration for spending in their districts.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2004 Cambridge University Press

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Footnotes

This article is based on research conducted for the World Bank as part of a cross-country study of African legislatures. The authors would like to thank Brian Levy of the World Bank and Joel Barkan of the University of Iowa for the design and leadership of this project, Leonardo Villalon of the University of Florida, Gainesville for his assistance and insights, and the anonymous reviewers of this journal for their helpful suggestions.

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