Senegal President Macky Sall has named Prime Minister Amadou Ba as the official candidate of the Benno Bokk Yakaar (BBY) coalition for the upcoming presidential election in February 2024.
After assuming office in 2012 and winning re-election in 2019, Sall declared in July, following months of political uncertainty, that he would refrain from pursuing a third term to avoid potential constitutional complications.
The country also faced economic challenges during Sall’s second term, partly influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic and the international repercussions of Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.
Ba, 62, previously held roles as the economy and foreign minister and is a recognized expert in taxation. He was appointed prime minister just a year ago in September.
To prevent potential divisions arising from prolonged primary elections, the BBY coalition members have authorized President Sall to nominate the official candidate just months before the candidate submission deadline.
President Sall, in a statement delivered by former Prime Minister Moustapha Niasse, said, “After extensive consultation, a process that was intricate and challenging, including the consideration of a primary which was declined by potential candidates and coalition leaders, we settled on a unanimous and collaborative choice.”
According to the statement, the decision weighed multiple factors, including professional expertise and a diverse career path.
Sall highlighted the attributes of humility and active listening in their selected candidate, Amadou Ba.
Ba’s new challenge is to rejuvenate the BBY coalition, which faced setbacks in the January 2022 local elections, with opponents capitalizing on rumors of Sall’s potential third-term intentions.
The coalition experienced a further decline in the July legislative polls, securing a mere majority of one seat, winning 82 out of 165 seats. This is a significant decrease compared to the 125 seats they obtained in 2017.
However, President Sall expressed confidence in Ba’s ability to unite the party and the coalition and sustain current economic, social, and environmental agendas.