Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 February 2005
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.
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