Senegal's presidential election: A look at the four main candidates

After a tumultuous political crisis, Senegalese voters will elect a new president on Sunday. Seventeen candidates are vying to succeed President Macky Sall, with four main contenders: Amadou Ba, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, Idrissa Seck and Khalifa Sall. Prime Minister Amadou Ba, 62, the ruling party's candidate and Sall's preferred successor, is a former minister of the economy, finance and foreign affairs. Ba portrays himself as a candidate of stability who will continue the current government's economic policies and restore calm after the political upheaval. His campaign focuses on youth employment, promising to create 1 million jobs by 2028 through public-private partnerships and investments in agriculture, industry, infrastructure and renewable energy. Ba is also committed to reviewing state contracts for natural resources, providing financial allowances for the elderly and speeding up the construction of a national school of arts and crafts.

Bassirou Diomaye Faye, 44, replaced opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, who was disqualified from the race in January. A co-founder of the opposition party Pastef and recently released from prison, Faye has had limited time to campaign. He advocates regaining Senegal's sovereignty by replacing the CFA franc with a new currency and promoting widespread English education. Faye wants to renegotiate mining and hydrocarbon contracts, review defence agreements and implement institutional reforms, including the creation of a vice-presidential role and mechanisms to check presidential power.

The other principal candidates are former Prime Minister Idrissa Seck and Khalifa Sall. The former is 64 years of age and served under former President Abdoulaye Wade from 2002 to 2004. He is currently making his fourth consecutive presidential bid. Seck draws upon his extensive political experience to propose a number of policy initiatives, including compulsory military service, the establishment of a common currency for West African countries, and the creation of a fund financed by oil and gas companies to compensate for damages to the fishing industry. The latter, Khalifa Sall, aged 68, is a prominent political figure attempting another presidential run, despite being unrelated to the outgoing president. Following a conviction for fraud and embezzlement in 2018, which resulted in a five-year prison sentence and a fine, he was disqualified from the 2019 presidential race. However, he subsequently returned to politics following a presidential pardon and the restoration of his civil rights. As the leader of the Taxawu Senegal coalition, Sall presents himself as a candidate who can facilitate national healing. He promises to initiate citizen-driven referendums, and to allocate at least 1,000 billion CFA francs (equivalent to 1.5 billion euros) annually to agriculture.

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