Sunday was election day in Senegal. Both the president and parliament were to have been elected, but due to a dispute over electoral boundaries, the parliamentary elections have been postponed till 3 June (thanks to Alex for pointing that out in the earlier thread on Lesotho).
I do not really know anything about Senegalese politics, besides what I read at BBC, which notes that the incumbent, Abdoulaye Wade, faces 14 rivals and is unlikely to win the needed majority today. That means a runoff is likely.
I do, however, know something about Senegalese political institutions. Journalists (and even the occasional political scientist) who see a system with both a president and a prime minister often rather sloppily say it is “the French system” (especially when the case in question is a former French colony). In this case they are right. The Senegalese “premier-presidential” system is about as similar structurally to that of France as any you will ever see (with the exception of Burkina Faso).
That means that the president can nominate a prime ministerial candidate, but can appoint only a candidate who can obtain confidence from parliament. Once confirmed, it is the prime minister, more than the president, who has the real executive powers–at least as the powers are outlined in the constitution. As I said, I know almost nothing about actual politics in Senegal.
There is one important twist on the president’s powers, however: He has a veto, which takes three fifths to override. There is nothing like than in France.
(There is no better place than here to note that I am positively an expert on Senegal, compared to what I know about Guinea. Thus I have no idea how significant it is that this other West African former French colony has just seen its prime minister replaced by the president, meeting a key demand of leaders of a general strike, now ended, and days after parliament refused to extent a state of emergency.)