The Representative Assembly of the Republic of Senegal is called the National Assembly. Representatives bear the title of Members of the National Assembly.
Members of the National Assembly are elected by direct universal suffrage. Their term of office is five years. Their term may only be terminated by dissolution of the National Assembly or through early elections carried out under the conditions and in the form provided for by the Constitution. Courts and Tribunals ensure that the campaign and polling of elections are conducted in accordance with the provisions of the organic law.
The organic law sets out the number of Members in the National Assembly, their salary, conditions for eligibility, and terms of disqualification and of incompatibility with membership. Any Member of the National Assembly resigning from his/her party or who is expelled from it between general elections is automatically stripped of his/her seat. Resigning or expelled Members of the National Assembly shall be replaced in accordance with the terms specified by organic law.
No Member of the National Assembly may be prosecuted, investigated, arrested, detained, or tried as a result of opinions expressed or votes cast in the performance of their official duties. Members of the National Assembly may, during the sessions, only be prosecuted or arrested for serious crimes or other major offenses, with the authorization of the Assembly. Members of the National Assembly who are caught in the act or flee after perpetrating a criminal offense, and who are identified by public outcry, may be arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned without the authorization of the Office of the National Assembly. Members of the National Assembly may, out of session, only be arrested with the authorization of the Office of the Assembly, except if they are caught committing a prosecutable act as defined in the previous Article, or where a final criminal sentence has been passed. Prosecution or detention of a Member of the National Assembly resulting from this prosecution is suspended if the Assembly requires it. Members of the National Assembly facing a final criminal sentence, which constitutes grounds for ineligibility, are removed from the list of Assembly Members at the request of the Ministry of Justice.
The Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly set out:
The Office composition and operating rules, as well as the powers and prerogatives of its Chairperson, who is elected for the duration of its mandate;
The number of Members, method of appointment, composition, role, and powers of its permanent commissions, without prejudice to the National Assembly’s right to create temporary special commissions;
The organization of administrative departments is placed under the authority of the Speaker of the National Assembly, assisted by an Administrative Secretary General;
The disciplinary system for Members of the National Assembly;
The various voting procedures, except for those expressly provided for by the Constitution;
In general, all the rules governing the operation of the National Assembly within the framework of its constitutional powers.
The National Assembly sits permanently, except during the period of recess, the duration of which is proposed by its Office and confirmed by Decree of the President of the Republic who determines their start and finish dates. At the end of the period of recess, the Assembly is convened by means of a decree. The parliamentary year may have several sessions, the number,start date and duration of which is set by the Office of the National Assembly. The Office also sets the agenda for each session. For every session, the quorum required is the simple majority (50% plus one) of the Members of the National Assembly. This quorum is not required for further deliberations during the same session. If, on opening of a session, the quorum of the simple majority of Members is not met, the session shall be postponed to the third following day. The Assembly may then deliberate on any matters regardless of the numbers of Members present.
Finance Laws shall always be considered during a two or three-month session during the second half of the year. The Office of the National Assembly shall inform the President of the Republic and the Government on any session it decides to hold.
Members of the National Assembly vote in their own names. Any imperative mandate is null. The Assembly Statutes may, in extraordinary cases, authorize delegation of voting rights. In such cases, no Member may be designated to vote on behalf of more than one other Member.
The National Assembly may delegate to its Delegations Commission the power to take measures to be determined by statute. This delegation is made through a National Assembly Resolution of which the President of the Republic is immediately informed. Within the limits of time and powers laid down in the Resolution mentioned above, the Delegations Commission shall take deliberations that will be enacted as laws. Those deliberations are submitted to the Office of the National Assembly. If the National Assembly does not amend them within fifteen days of the session, they become final.
Meetings of the National Assembly shall be held in public. They may be held behind closed doors only in extraordinary cases and for a limited period. The comprehensive report of proceedings along with parliamentary papers are published in the Journal des Débats or the Official Gazette.