Senegal Rights Groups Oppose VP Plan

Posted June 18th, 2011 at 1:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Senegalese rights groups are criticizing a proposal to change the country's constitution to create the position of vice president in time for elections next year.

Civil society leaders Saturday likened the proposed change to a “coup d'etat.” If adopted, the vice president would automatically take power if the president dies in office.

The opposition has said it appears to be a move to help 85-year-old President Abdoulaye Wade hold onto power while preparing for his son, Karim Wade, to succeed him.

Mr. Wade's cabinet announced the proposal Thursday, just eight months before the presidential election is scheduled to take place.

The country's national assembly must approve the proposal before it can take affect.