Senegal: Youssou N’Dour to make presidential bid

Singer announces he will take on incumbent president Abdoulaye Wade in forthcoming elections.

Picture: Marc Ras

Senegalese singing star Youssou N’Dour has confirmed he intends to stand in the country’s February’s elections.

N’Dour announced his intentions via his own television channel, stating: “I”ve travelled the world and been seen by people all over the world and I think I have the ability to govern Senegal. I am the alternative.” The influential singer has long been critical of incumbent president Wade, who has held power in the country for the last 11 years.

N’Dour added: “For a long time, men and women have demonstrated their optimism, dreaming of a new Senegal. They have, in various ways, called for my candidacy … I listened, I heard.”

Perhaps best known in the West for his collaboration with Swedish singer Neneh Cherry on the 1994 international hit Seven Seconds, N’Dour is an iconic figure in Senegal and could yet prove a big draw with younger voters.

President Wade’s camp responded to N’Dour’s challenge, stating: “We’re waiting for all the candidates, including Youssou N’Dour, to detail their policy ideas […] and not just list a string of wishes.”

The Senegalese presidential elections are scheduled to take place on February 26th 2012.

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