Senegal’s President Macky Sall is seeking to win a parliamentary majority in a July 1 election to push ahead with plans to combat corruption and cut government spending. Sall, 51, leads the Benno Bokk Yakaar coalition that’s running for the National Assembly’s 150 seats. The main challengers are the Parti Democratique Senegalaise, headed by ex-President Abdoulaye Wade, and the Bokk Gis Gis coalition led by the current head of the parliament’s upper house, Pape Diop. The president needs control of parliament to help implement changes, such as audits of government departments, that he’s made since defeating 86-year-old Wade in a March presidential election, said Abdou Fall, a Senegal analyst at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, South Africa.
“Sall’s real political moves will start after the legislative elections,” Fall said in a June 26 interview. “He will see the audits through to the end, he will revive the economy and he will replace the heads of all national companies. The change of power will be complete.” Since taking office, Sall has shut 59 state institutions, such as the National Agency for New Ports of Senegal and the National Agency for the High Authority of the Desert, begun audits of government programs and created a special court to prosecute fraud and financial crimes.