Senegal’s President to complete seven-year mandate

President Macky Sall

Senegal’s President Macky Sall said on Tuesday he will complete a seven-year mandate that runs until 2019, ditching a promise made during his election campaign to cut the term to five years.

“The mandate currently under way will be completed in 2019,” Sall said in a statement in French on state television that followed a recommendation by the country’s constitutional council.

He had told voters in the West African country in 2012 that he would shorten his current term by changing the constitution.

While the U-turn is not expected to destabilize the country, it could prove politically costly for Sall, who is widely expected to seek a second term.

Sall said he will hold a March referendum on a package of constitutional changes, including the shorter mandate, although they will only take effect after the current term.