Joining over twenty other candidates who each hope to depose the 85-year old incumbent, Grammy-winning musician Youssou N’Dour has announced his bid for Sengal’s presidency. The current president, Abdoulaye Wade, has been in power for over ten years and is currently seeking a third term thanks to an electoral law loophole. Wade’s presidency has been plagued by economic woes, accusations of corruption, and a particularly outrageous attempt to change the constitution to allow his son to takeover as his successor without an election.
“For a very long time, many Senegalese of different backgrounds have called for my candidacy for the presidency next February,” Ndour said. “I’ve listened, I’ve heard and I am responding favorably to their request. I am a candidate. It’s a supreme patriotic duty, the best I can give of myself. I am the alternative to the current leadership in place in the country.”
Ndour, 52, is well known in Senegal for his scathing critique of the country’s ruling party. He already owns a hugely popular private radio station that holds regular debates featuring government critics.
And he has a newspaper that routinely highlights corruption allegations involving the country’s ruling elite, including the president’s family.
The election is only two months away so there is no doubt that N’Dour’s wide reach and popularity will be an asset in weeks to come.