Senegal's President abandons controversial election law change

June 23, 2011, midnight

Senegal's President Abdoulaye WADE on Thursday dropped a plan to reduce the proportion of votes needed to win a presidential election. WADE abandoned the provision after Senegal's opposition called for demonstrations to protest the changes, introduced just eight months ahead of the 2012 national election. The original law would have allowed WADE to avoid a second round runoff election with only 25 percent of the national vote, down from the current 50 percent. The draft law would still create an office of Vice President. Opposition members accuse WADE of creating the new position as a way to place his son in office. Currently, the head of the National Assembly would succeed the president in the event of a vacancy.

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