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Senegal: 81 citizens eye 2019 presidential race

Eighty-one Senegalese citizens including incumbent President Macky Sall, have expressed interest to run in the next presidential election slated for February, former Prime Minister, Aminata Toure said.She was speaking at the end of a meeting at the Directorate General of Elections (DGE) on Monday.

“We have seen that there are some 81 Senegalese who would like to be candidates for the next presidential poll,” said Ms Toure, who is the national coordinator for a group backing Macky Sall’s candidacy for the 2019 poll.

She was addressing the press shortly after securing “the working tools”, including a sheet and an electronic file, meant for collecting the signatures of voters for the sponsorship of candidates.

Aminata Toure, who was Prime Minister from September 2013 to July 2014, had just emerged from an information meeting on the start of a sponsorship collection exercise, organized for the national coordinators of people wishing to be sponsored to participate in the presidential election scheduled for 24 February, 2019.

“If 60 percent of registered voters were to vote and we did not have this sponsorship scheme (for the next presidential election), we would spend a week voting with 81 candidates” Toure said, stressing that “what need to be retained is that a democracy must be organized.”

The former PM has also rejected accusations that the ruling majority has long started to secure sponsors.

“The sponsorship collection starts today with the tools we have just received. We could not have proceeded without these tools,” she said.

The constitution stipulates that those willing to become candidates for the next presidential election will have to collect the signatures of at least 0.8 percent and a maximum of 1 percent of the general electoral roll, according to the Electoral Code.

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