There has been no war or violent upheaval in Senegal since 1960 – but a controversial statement by the president led to violent protests in July. There will be an important election next year.
Senegal’s head of state Macky Sall has named Prime Minister Amadou Ba as the governing coalition’s candidate in the presidential election early next year. After some violent protests in July, President Sall made a firm declaration that he would not seek a third term in office. Sall thus ended years of speculation about whether he would run again in February 2024 despite a limit of two five-year terms passed under him. Sall said Prime Minister Ba was a candidate who could unite the party, coalition and country.
The 62-year-old Ba had previously served, among other things, as economics and foreign minister. He has been in charge of government in the West African country since last September. The leading opposition politician Ousmane Sonko, who wants to run in the presidential election, was sentenced to prison in an abuse case. His imprisonment led to massive protests. At least 15 people died in the unrest.
Senegal has not experienced war or violent upheaval since its independence in 1960. Sall is the fourth president of the country on the Atlantic coast, which borders the Sahel state of Mali to the east, which is plagued by terrorism and instability. The centrist politician Sall won a runoff election in 2012 against his former party colleague Abdoulaye Wade – supported by the opposition, which wanted to prevent Wade from holding a controversial third term in office. Senegal was previously considered a stable democracy.
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