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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Democratizing a (Quasi) Democracy: The Senegalese Elections of 1993
Author:Villalón, Leonardo A.ISNI
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society
Geographic term:Senegal
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/723839
Abstract:The Senegalese crisis of the late 1980s coincided with the rise of popular demands for democratic restructuring and the consequent 'wave' of political transformations across the continent. Early in 1991 the government of Senegal undertook a series of initiatives intended to democratize the country's quasi-democracy. The most significant of these was the elaboration of a new and consensual electoral code. The 21 February 1993 presidential elections, followed by legislative elections held on 9 May, provided the first test of how successful this attempt to 'democratize a democracy' had been. Abdou Diouf and the Parti socialiste (PS) remained in power. A government whose composition represented for most Senegalese a victory of the forces of continuity over those of change was put in place. This article surveys the historical context of these elections and the reasons for their importance, and then examines the 1993 elections in some detail in an attempt to evaluate the impact of the constitutional reforms on Senegalese democratization. The Senegalese case raises questions suggesting the limits of democratization in the African context. The author suggests that at least in some domains 1993 signals a small step forward in the direction of buttressing democracy. Notes, ref.