A New Model
The National Assembly
The National Assembly in the Constitution
The assembly representing 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 universal and direct suffrage. They shall remain in office for 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 specified by the Constitution. Courts and Tribunals ensure that the campaign and polling of elections are conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Assembly Statutes.
The Assembly Statutes determine the number of Members of the National Assembly, their salary, conditions for eligibility, and terms of disqualification and of incompatibility. Any Member of the National Assembly that resigns from their party or who is expelled from it between general elections is automatically deprived of their seat. Resigning or expelled Members of the National Assembly shall be replaced in accordance with the terms specified by the Assembly Statutes.
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 a truant 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 in case of an enforceable criminal conviction. 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 an enforceable criminal conviction, which is a term for ineligibility, are removed from the list of Assembly Members at the Ministry of Justice’s request.
The Rules and Procedures 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 competence of its permanent commissions, and without prejudice the National Assembly has a 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 specified by the Constitution;
● In general, all the rules governing the operation of the National Assembly within the framework of its constitutional competence.
The National Assembly sits permanently, except during holidays, whose duration is suggested by its Office and confirmed by Decree of the President of the Republic who determines their start and finish dates. When holidays are over, the Assembly is convened by means of a decree. The parliamentary year may have several sessions, with number of sessions as well as the start date and duration of each set by the Office of the National Assembly. The Office also fixes 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 in 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 Delegation Commission the authority to take measures related to Law. This delegation is made through a National Assembly Resolution of which the President of the Republic shall be informed immediately. With the limit of time and competence laid down in the Resolution mentioned above, the Delegation 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 after 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 verbatim report of proceedings along with parliamentary papers are published in the Journal des Débats or the Official Journal.
MORE INFORMATION ON THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY