Aminata Toure says she thinks the whole thing is about a woman challenging a big shot.
Toure makes her plans to confront Macky Sall, Senegalese President, whose government she once led, and her goal to one day succeed him no secret.
The 60-year-old former prime minister, Toure, has surged to prominence in Senegal, staking a claim on becoming the first West African country's female President. Aminata Toure's decision to sit as an independent MP has ended the presidential coalition's single-seat majority, hence throwing Senegalese politics into flux.
Toure fell out with Sall after she was passed her over by him for the role of parliamentary speaker, even when she led his party list in legislative elections last month.
Toure accused Sall of snubbing her, alleging that in 2024, he is planning to run for a third term and knew she would oppose the bid. For months Sall has remained vague on whether he will seek to extend his tenure beyond the two terms' constitutional limit. An issue that in Ivory Coast and Guinea has led to explosive violence.
Toure warned a bid by Sall for a third term may bring the country chaos. In 2012, when Abdoulaye Wade, the former President, sought an unconstitutional third term, as many as 15 people were thought to have died in protests.
Macky Sall has remained vague for months on whether he will seek to extend his time in office.
Toure first met Sall when they were attending communist meetings as teenagers. They started working together when Toure left a senior role with the UNFPA in New York in 2012 to run Sall's first presidential campaign. He appointed her as justice minister. She introduced a landmark law that allows Senegalese women married to foreigners to pass their nationality onto their children, just as men could in 2013.
She oversaw a campaign investigating former Wade cabinet ministers for corruption. One of the people was Karim, Wade's son, who could be a 2024 presidential contender. Another was Oumar Sarr, Toure's ex-husband, her first child's father. She has two other children with another husband and is the legal guardian of a 12-year-old orphan.
In Toure's favor are Senegal's rising prosperity, cosmopolitanism, and democratic stability.
Toure is fluent in English and French and is comfortable chatting about the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan or Brazilian politics as she is about her strategy to win local electoral districts. But will she be able to appeal to an average Senegalese voter?
Toure said she is Senegalese, and she thinks she is perceived as Senegalese -- but she is a modern Senegalese.
Her opponents write her off as ungrateful for the appointments Sall gave her. They also say she has never won any political mandate.
Toure said the country was due for a change. She also described other African leaders who have overstayed their welcome as "old men." She said Sall, born in 1961, is "a modern guy -- he is a smart guy," "Why would he act like someone who's 80 and ruin his reputation?"
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