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Karim Wade, the son of a former president of Senegal and a strong political figure in the country, has renounced his French nationality to pave the way for him to run in next month’s presidential election.
Wade said Wednesday in a statement on X formerly known as Twitter, that France’s interior minister confirmed his renunciation. His dual French and Senegalese nationalities have been a subject of debate because Senegal’s constitution says candidates can run only if they are exclusively Senegalese.
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The announcement comes days ahead of when the final list of candidates will be announced and weeks ahead of Senegal’s presidential elections scheduled for the end of February.
The Senegalese flag is seen against an overcast sky in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 17, 2022. (Photo by Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Another candidate, Thierno Alassane Sall, launched an appeal with the Constitutional Council to invalidate Wade’s candidacy.
Wade, seen as one of the main contenders, is part of the Senegalese Democratic Party. The party, under his father, former President Abdoulaye Wade, ran the country between 2000 and 2012.
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In 2013 the younger Wade was charged with corruption and served three years in jail before going into exile in Qatar.