Senegal’s Sonko takes election campaign to the south


Senegal’s charismatic opposition leader Ousmane Sonko and his coalition’s presidential candidate flew to the south of the country Saturday, pressing on with their election campaign less than two weeks before the vote.

Former prime minister Amadou Ba, the presidential camp’s candidate in the election, meanwhile denounced Sonko’s “slanderous” attack on him the previous evening.

Sonko and his ally Bassirou Diomaye Faye were greeted by hundreds of supporters after they flew into the coastal resort of Cap Skiring in the Casamance region.

He has endorsed Faye as his coalition’s candidate for the March 24 election after he was barred from running himself.

The two political allies travelled from the airport in a black 4×4 vehicle with tinted windows, as the crowd shouted: “Diomaye, president!”


Faye, wearing a traditional white boubou, or flowing wide-sleeved robe, was the first to appear, followed by Sonko in a pale green shirt and cap.

Both raised their hands to salute the crowd of mainly young people.

“This time next Sunday we’ll be celebrating Bassirou Diomaye Faye’s victory as Senegal’s fifth president,” Sonko said.

“Voting Bassirou Diomaye Faye means voting twice for Ousmane Sonko.”
“We are going to win in the first round, I’m sure of it,” one supporter, 26-year-old Malang Sane told AFP, echoing the prediction made by Sonko.

Ibou Diatta, a 29-year-old teacher, said: “We have come to welcome our leader (Sonko) who has just got out of prison and is going to bring change.”