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Senegal's Parliament Gives Military Right to Vote

Senegal's parliament has voted to give military and paramilitary personnel the right to vote in national elections for the first time in four decades.

After four hours of heated debate, a majority of the national assembly voted Monday to end the ban against military voting that was instituted in the 1960s.

The ban stemmed from a disagreement among top officials of Senegal's first post-colonial government.

Senegal's interior minister, Ousmane Ngom, who sponsored the law lifting the ban, said it would strengthen the country's democracy.

He said he would set up an informal commission to discuss how and when military personnel would vote, which was a major issue of debate within parliament.

Senegal's next legislative and presidential elections are slated for next year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.