Riots greet ruling that incumbent President Wade can stand again.

"I think they are afraid of me," says N'dour

Senegal’s most famous export, singer Youssou N’dour, on January 28th appealed a decision by the country’s top court which rejected his application to run for president in February polls.  The Grammy-winning artist was rejected by the Constitutional Council, which unveiled a list of contenders on the night of January 27th, on the grounds that many signatures he submitted to support his application were not valid.

The council approved the candidacy of 85-year-old sitting President Abdoulaye Wade to seek a third term, which the opposition says is illegal, sparking fierce protests in Dakar.

“I am a candidate and I will remain a candidate,” N’dour said after the Constitutional Council’s decision. The five-judge body said N’dour had “produced a list of 12,936 voters supporting his candidacy of which only 8,911 could be identified and their signatures validated”. A minimum of 10,000 was needed.

“Abdoulaye Wade should not even have presented his candidacy as the basic law says he does not have the right to do so,” said N’Dour, as the west African nation erupted into riots over the decision. He said the Senegalese people were “tired” of politicians flouting the law

The dispute over Wade’s candidacy has placed one of Africa’s most stable democracies on edge, and the capital was rocked by violent riots which left one police officer dead. The Constitutional Council – which is appointed by Wade and has the final say on constitutional matters – gave the veteran leader the green light along with 13 other candidates.

They are:

  • Macky Sall (former Prime Minister)
  • Idrissa Seck (former Prime Minister)
  • Moustapha Niasse (former Prime Minister)
  • Cheikh Tidiane Gadio (former Foreign Affairs minister)
  • Cheikh Bamba Dièye (the mayor of Saint-Louis)
  • Doudou Ndoye (leader of the Senegalese Socialist Party)
  • Ousmane Tanor Dieng
  • Diouma Dieng Diakhaté
  • Amsatou Sow Sidibé
  • Mor Dieng
  • Djibril Ngom
  • Ibrahima Fall
  • Oumar Khassimou Dia

The council rejected:

  • Youssou Ndour
  • Kéba Keinde
  • Abdourahmane Sarr

Subscribe to the Africa Research Bulletin today