On Monday, internationally renowned Senegalese musician Youssou N’dour announced he will run for president in the country’s election next month,
challenging an 85-year-old incumbent whose plans to seek a third term have sparked violent protests.
For a long time, men and women have demonstrated their optimism, dreaming of a new Senegal,” said the performer, 52, on his own television and radio stations. “They have, in various ways, called for my candidacy in the February presidential race. I listened. I heard.”
N’dour has canceled his performance schedule to concentrate on next month’s election.
N,dour is well known in Senegal for using his private radio and television stations to publicly challenge the country’s ruling party, the Associated Press pointed out. The musician also owns a newspaper that routinely highlights corruption allegations involving the country’s ruling elite, including the president’s family.
The incumbent president Abdoulaye Wade, sparked street protests in Senegal’s capital last year when he announced he wanted to run for a third term and make changes to the constitution that would have made allowed Wade’s son to succeed him.