The Senegalese Congress has voted to abolish the Senate in order to conserve funds that will be put toward aid for flood victims after particularly high rainfall in the West African region this season.

Critics have argued that the move was meant to weaken the political opposition, which held a majority in the 100-seat Senate. The opposing senators were outvoted in a joint session with the National Assembly, which holds 150 seats.

In total, $15 million will be made available from the elimination of the 100 Senate positions. President Macky Sall said some of the funds will also go toward flood prevention, BBC reported.

At least 13 people have died in the recent flooding throughout Senegal, and thousands more have been displaced from their homes.

In addition to the Senate, lawmakers also abolished the office of the vice president, though the position has been unfilled since it was first created in 2009 by former President Abdoulaye Wade.