A deep division has emerged within Senegal’s main opposition Party Démocratique Sénégalais PDS with former foreign and justice minister Madické Niang resigning from the party after announcing he intends to compete for the presidency in the February 2019 election.
Niang announced his departure from the party in the last few days but many believed he was most likely expelled by the party which has already selected Karim Wade, son of former president Abdoulaye Wade as its official candidate.
Niang has stated that without him the PDS is unlikely to field a candidate as Karim Wade has been in exile in Qatar since 2016, when he was released early from a six-year prison sentence for corruption. He is still required to pay a USD230 million fine linked to that conviction, and would likely face arrest if he attempted to return to Senegal. Observers believed this would mean that there will be no strong candidate against President Sall since another opposition bigwig Khalifa Sall of the PS too is serving a prison term.