chapter  9
18 Pages

Senegal’s party system: the limits of formal regulation

ByChristof Hartmann

By African standards Senegal has an excellent record as both a liberal democracy and as a peaceful country without military coups and with little civil conflict. Multiparty rule has existed continuously since 1976, and in 2000 the incumbent president was voted out of office. While in recent years concerns about the quality of the democratic process and media freedom have been raised,1 there is still reason to inquire about the causes behind Senegal’s rather singular trajectory. I will analyse to what extent Senegal’s positive record is caused by the country’s specific political-institutional arrangements, and the analytical focus will be on those institutions that regulate the existence and activities of political parties.