Senegal: Singer Youssou Ndour To Run For President

The famous Senegalese singer and percussionist Youssou Ndour announced Monday night that he was running for president against incumbent Abdoulaye Wade in February 26 elections.

“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,” Ndour said on his privately-owned television station, referring to requests that he throw his hat into the political ring. “I am a candidate”.

“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,” he added. He also accused the president of “hearing only in mono, not stereo”.

Ndour has been an outspoken critic of Wade, 85, who has been in power since year 2000 and still seeking a third term.

Wade’s presidency has been marred by allegations of corruption, nepotism and constraints on freedom of the press and other civil liberties.

He has also been criticized for excessive spending on what have been described as “prestige projects”. This includes commissioning a 160+ foot bronze statue (the African Renaissance Monument), for which Wade claims he is entitled to 35% of all tourist profits it generates because of the intellectual property for conceiving the idea.

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