N’Dour has been a vocal critic of incumbent president Abdoulaye Wade, who the singer says N’Dour  is spending far too much ina country where formal employment is scarce and average income per head is $3 (£1.90) a day.

N’Dour is highly popular in Senegal for his music, which helped expose the country’s unique ‘Mbalax’ drumming and singing styles to the mainstream.

Senegal is considered one of the most democratic and stable countries in West Africa – it is the only country in the region never to have experienced a military coup.

However, tension is rising ahead of the election and one prominent politician has been charged with murder.

Mr N’Dour said of his candidacy: “It is a supreme patriotic duty.

“It’s true, I haven’t pursued higher education, but the presidency is a function and not a job.

“I have proved my competence, commitment, rigour and efficiency time and time again. I have studied at the school of the world. Travel teaches as much as books,” he added.

N’Dour announced in November he was cancelling concert dates to focus on politics.