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Third Candidacy, Reform of the Public Prosecutor’s Office : IMF Moving Straight

In the National Assembly, Ismaïla Madior Fall was questioned on the reform of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, long detentions and the third candidacy. As always, he tried to relativise certain subjects that pollute the public debate.

There was tension in the air in the Hemicycle. After the passage of Minister Antoine Diome, Ismaïla Madior Fall was also expected at the National Assembly. Now a controversial figure, the Minister of Justice obviously crystallised the rancourand apprehensions of the parliamentary opposition. During the vote of his ministry, the concerns focused on the modernisation of Justice, the improvement of the living conditions of detainees, the protection of children, the procedures for the execution of judicial infrastructure estimated at 250 billion, the construction of the seats of the courts of Guinguinéo, Malem Hodar, Koungheul, Birkelane, high courts of Kolda, Ziguinchor and Kaffrine. In the same wake, the minister was challenged on the rise of juvenile delinquency, long preventive detentions. For some MPs, reforms are needed to limit the powers of the public prosecutor in terms of the preventive detention of accused persons, to end of the relationship of subordination between the prosecution and the executive power.

Echoing these interpellations, the head of the Chancellery noted that the prerogatives of the public prosecutor, so claimed by some, are very limited in practice. « Indeed, the latter is only the judge of the appropriateness of the proceedings which, once triggered, become a party in the same way as those intervening in the criminal trial, » says IMF, who remained « measured » on the timeliness of this reform. On the other hand, he was « more convinced by a reform aimed at creating a judge of freedoms and rights ».

Back at the head of the Ministry of Justice less than 15 months before the next presidential election, Ismaïla Madior Fall was attentively observed by the opposition, which is protesting against a third candidacy of President Sall. Several MEPs focused on that issue, reminding him of his positions taken several years ago. Entering the rebellion, Aminata Touré a fierce opponent of a third term: « You have defended everywhere, like me and the president of Benno‘s parliamentary group, that no one can serve more than two consecutive terms. » The former head of the list of Bby during the last legislative continued: I want you to look at the Senegalese eye to eye to say it a four time. You are a professor emeritus… Let the intellectuals be faithful to the Constitution. Mr. Guardian of Seals respect the Constitution instead of thinking about privileges. We want a very clear answer on this ambiguity in the mandate… You said and defended that we locked the Constitution. No one can serve more than two consecutive terms. Macky Sall had defended this, me and everyone else. According to Mimi Touré, the Guardian of Seals was the architect of this limitation. Today I want to know: was it to deceive the Senegalese or not? Because what you are specifying today, you did not specify in 2016. We had spent many billions for that and President Macky Sall in February 2024 will no longer be a candidate. In the same vein, Dr Ismaïla Diallo remained strict on the issue: « You told your License 3 students that the word of the President has legal value. »

In his answers, the constitutionalist was cautious. He specified, “having given his opinion as a law professor on the question, noting that this opinion is not res judicata. Consequently, it is up to the competent court to state the right and to doctrine to issue a scientific opinion.” Then he informed « that the Constitutional Council, seized with regard to the draft constitutional revision by referendum in 2016, had removed the transitional provision from the draft of Article 27 of the Constitution and whose wording was that this provision is applicable to the current mandate”.

It should be noted that the budget of the Ministry of Justice was set at 80 billion 579 million 498 thousand 733 F CFA in commitment authorisations (Ae), 76 billion 779 million 498 thousand 733 F CFA in payment appropriations (Cp). This constitutes a substantial increase of 4 billion 939 million 949 thousand 004 FCfa, or a rate of 6.9% in relative value. In detail, staff costs are estimated at 1 billion 314 million 501 thousand 716 thousand F in Ae and Cp. While for judicial justice, the credits are set at 16 billion 626 thousand 052 thousand 867 F Cfa in Ae and Cp.

By Justin GOMIS / justin@lequotidien.sn 

  • Translation by Ndey T. SOSSEH

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