Two months after a tense legislative election in which President Macky Sall’s coalition lost its comfortable majority, he brought back the position of prime minister and gave it to a former economy minister.
Amadou Ba, a 61-year-old taxation expert who has formerly served as the foreign minister, was selected as the prime minister of the West African nation, according to a statement released by the presidency on Saturday. Ba has also previously held the position of Minister of International Affairs. As a result of Ba’s nomination, the job of prime minister in the West African nation, which had been vacant since its elimination in April 2019, has been filled.
In a message to the nation that was broadcast on Friday, Sall stated that it will be the responsibility of the incoming prime minister to handle the nation’s rising cost of living. “Measures to reduce living costs, increase employment and entrepreneurship for young people, and combat floods and high rents,” Sall explained. “I am committed to addressing these issues.”
During his first address after the president’s secretary-general read out the directive, Ba echoed these thoughts and stated that he agreed with them. After meeting with Sall on Saturday, Ba said on national TV that the president’s top priorities are to increase people’s ability to buy things, bring inflation under control, make sure people are safe, give them enough housing, and support vocational education, jobs, and businesses.
Later on Saturday, it is anticipated that all of the positions in the government will be filled. At the beginning of this week, the security forces of Senegal were called into action to ensure the safety of a voting process in Parliament and to restrain opposition members of Parliament who attempted to interfere with the election of a new president of the national assembly. After the elections in July, this is the first time that the Assembly has met since then.
In 2012, Sall overthrew the country’s longtime President, Abdoulaye Wade, and ascended to the presidency. He won re-election in 2019 on the back of promises to expand the country’s infrastructure on a massive scale. This comes as the country is getting ready to start producing oil and natural gas in the coming year. But the economy has been in bad shape for a large part of his second term. This is due in part to the COVID-19 virus and the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine around the world.
Because Sall has not openly disavowed the possibility of running for a third term as president in 2024, political tensions have reached a boiling point. Last year, violent demonstrations broke out in Senegal after Ousmane Sonko, Sall’s primary opponent and the candidate who finished third in the 2019 presidential race, was detained on rape charges. Sonko has disputed the allegations against him.
Although Sonko was eventually set free, many of the demonstrators believed that his arrest was an attempt by Sall to get rid of a major adversary so that he could run for a third term in office.