The Electoral System

Themes & Issues by Country

The Electoral System

Burkina Faso

In June 1991, the people of Burkina Faso adopted the Constitution for the country’s Fourth Republic. Three earlier Republican regimes had been inaugurated in 1960, 1974, and 1978. In between these periods, the country experienced six extra-constitutional regimes (1966, 1970, 1974, 1982, 1983, and 1987). The current Constitution establishes a political system whose exact nature is difficult to define. Without being a semi-presidential system, executive power is nevertheless shared between the President of Burkina Faso and the Government headed by a Prime Minister…

Chad

Chad became a republic on November 28, 1958 after obtaining its independence from France on August 11, 1960. It is located at the heart of the African continent, bordered by Libya in the north, Sudan in the east, The Central African Republic in the south and Cameroon and Niger in the west. Chad is a unitary decentralized state. It consists of 23 administrative regions divided into departments and sous-prefectures. The Constitution and the Law 02/PR/2000 of February 16, 2000 dictate the administration of these decentralized local government entities and state that the latter are self-governed…

Mali

Mali’s electoral system is based on the provisions of the February 25, 1992 Constitution and the electoral law of 2011-085 of September 30, 2011, modified by the 2013-017 Law of May 21, 2013. Mali’s population is 14,000,000 inhabitants according to the fourth general census of people of Mali (RPGH 2009). On the basis of the February 25, 1992 Constitution, the President of the Republic is the Head of State and has many responsibilities. These include the power to appoint a Prime Minister, to call a referendum on any issue deemed of national interest, and to dissolve the National Assembly. The Constitution also provides for the separation power between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government…

Mauritania

The Constitution of July 20, 1991 establishes a semi-presidential regime in Mauritania. The President of the Republic is head of state and is entrusted with important prerogatives that include the appointment of the Prime Minister and the possibility to consult the people of Mauritania by referendum. The president also has a strong claim to legitimacy which derives from his election by direct universal suffrage. The Constitution includes separation of powers between the executive and the legislative branches, the latter of which is represented by a bicameral parliament consisting of a National Assembly and a Senate…

Niger

After 33 years under a one-party system, Niger attempted its first democratic experiment in 1993 in the wake of the Sovereign National Conference (a national dialogue to create democratic institutions), that took place July 29 through November 3, 1991. The Constitution of the Third Republic was adopted by referendum, on December 26, 1992. On February 27, 1993, the Alliance of the Forces of Change (comprised of the CDS, PNDS, and ANDP) elected Mahamane Ousmane as Head of State, the first from the Hausa ethnic group. Ever since, the political history of Niger has been characterized by a situation in which democratic regimes alternate with military coups. This poses the question of how deep the tenets of democratic rule have penetrated Niger…

Senegal

After gaining independence from France, in 1960, Senegal briefly experienced a parliamentarian regime (1960-1962). Following the December 1962 political crisis that opposed the head of state, Leopold Sédar Senghor, to the President of the Council (head of government), Mamadou Dia, a conflict over prerogatives at the highest levels of the state, Senegal adopted a new Constitution (Law 63-22 of March 7, 1963). The new Constitution created post-independent Senegal’s second republic and established a shift from a parliamentarian regime to a presidential one, indeed a very strong presidential regime with a President of the Republic who is the epicenter of the executive branch…

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