By Enyichukwu Enemanna
The governing party in Senegal, the Benno Bokk Yakaar (BBY) coalition with the backing President Macky Sall has picked the country’s Prime Minister Amadou Ba, as presidential candidate ahead of polls coming up next year.
Ba was announced as the sole candidate for the BBY coalition for the February 24, 2024 election during a leaders’ conference at the presidential palace in the capital of Dakar on Saturday without primary election.
“After a wide consultation, a task that was complex and difficult including considering a primary that was rejected by interested candidates and leaders in the coalition, we decided on a consensus choice,” said former Prime Minister Moustapha Niasse.
Sall urged supporters in a statement to rally behind Ba who he described as a candidate with “professional skills, unifier and good listener” who has had a diversified career.
Ba, 62, was appointed prime minister last September He previously served as economy and foreign minister and acted as the coalition’s national co ordinator during local elections in early 2022.
Sall announced in July he will not seek a third term in next year’s presidential elections, ending months of speculation.
At 61, he assumed power in 2012 and won reelection in 2019.
Although BBY members had rejected primaries to avoid divisions, Agriculture Minister Aly Ngouille Ndiaye announced his resignation from the government Saturday after Ba was announced as the coalition’s flag bearer, according to media reports.
Ndiaye is expected to announce his next move in the coming days.