Senegalese superstar Youssou Ndour, who has lent his golden voice to politics, hit the campaign trail a week before run-off polls to rally support for presidential challenger Macky Sall. Ndour, along with all 12 presidential candidates who fell out of the country’s electoral race in a first round of voting, are campaigning hard for Sall, to block a controversial third term bid by 85-year-old incumbent Abdoulaye Wade. The Grammy-award winning artist has been at the forefront of this campaign since his own attempt to run for office was thwarted by the constitutional court which said he did not have enough signatures supporting his candidacy.
In the troubled southern Casamance province, gripped by a low-level separatist conflict for the past three decades, Ndour whipped up a crowd of thousands in the regional capital Ziguinchor on Saturday night. Taking to the stage, his fists raised in a victory sign, Ndour sang the phrase “We have won, we have won” before an old song of his on good governance called “Alalu Mbolo” played back over the speakers.
“We are holding an electoral show. In one week Wade will leave power,” said Ndour to loud cheers. He was dressed in flowing traditional robes, topped off with scarf and cap bearing the image of the 50-year-old ex-prime minister Sall.