INTRODUCTION: The newly-appointed President of Senegal, Mr.
GV EXTERIOR Diouf standing in open topped car, waving to crowds
SV Diouf presenting medals to officers
GV,Diouf walking up steps to rostrum. SV Diouf seated on rostrum (2 shots)
GV Veterans with flags marching PAN TO disabled veterans in wheelchairs
GV Armoured cars SV Diouf watching, GV PAN troop carriers and field artillery
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The newly-appointed President of Senegal, Mr. Abdou Diouf, has promised to revise the clause of the country's constitution which effectively limits political activity to four parties. The President was speaking at celebrations marking 21 years of independence in Dakar on Saturday (4 April). But two days later the opposition Democratic Party (PDS) said it would not try to reform after losing the right to sit in the National Assembly under the present constitution following the resignation of several of its militant representatives to join the ruling Socialist Party.
SYNOPSIS: For President Diouf, the celebrations had an extra significance. They coincided with the ninetieth day of his appointment to the Presidency. The French-educated head of state, who was Prime Minister for 10 years, need not face elections until 1983. His announcement that the constitution is to be revised will enable semi-clandestine political organisations like the National Democratic Party and the Co-operative Socialist Party to play a new part in the political life of the nation.
Senegal faces serious economic problems. A loan of U.S. 830 million dollars announced on Monday (6 April) by the African Development Bank, will help offset the effects of last year's catastrophic drought when the key ground-nut crop was halved. President Diouf announced that debts incurred by farmers for buying seeds and equipment would be waived or deferred. President Diouf added that an amnesty for political prisoners would be announced soon. He said it was more important than ever to create a sense of national unity during a difficult period when the country was facing grave problems.