A proposal to ban presidential candidates with dual citizenship is raising controversy in Senegal.
According to the proposal, any candidate with dual citizenship should renounce the foreign one five years before running for office.
Although many Senegalese opposition leaders agree that it is necessary for a candidate to be of Senegalese origin before running for president, they accuse president Macky Sall of wanting to use the law to sideline Karim Wade’s and former prime minister Abdoul Mbaye’s ambition to vie for the presidency.
Observers say the proposed law is troubling to those who were unable to choose the circumstances of their birth.
Former Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade and his two predecessors all had dual nationality with Wade frequently justifying that it happened because they were born before independence.
Close aides of Macky Sall have defended the proposal by emphasizing that the proposal concerns only presidential candidates.
Senegal’s next presidential election is scheduled to be held in 2019 with incumbent president Macky Sall eligible to stand for a second term.