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Monday, December 4, 2023

Ousmane Sonko’s participation in the presidential election suspended by two court decisions

This Friday the fate of the presidential candidacy of the main challenger to power is at stake: the opponent Ousmane Sonko. The Supreme Court must, in fact, rule on the legality or not of the removal of Ousmane Sonko from the electoral lists. Final appeal before the Senegalese courts, while the ECOWAS court of justice must also rule today on the participation of Ousmane Sonko in the presidential election next February.

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With our correspondent in Dakar, Léa-Lisa Westerhoff

If Ousmane Sonko wants to be a candidate, first condition: be registered on the electoral lists. It is therefore on this point that the legal puzzle that has become the journey of Senegal’s number 1 political opponent crystallizes. Ousmane Sonko, sentenced on June 1 to two years in prison for corrupting youth, is then automatically removed from the electoral roll.

But a month ago, on October 12, the Ziguinchor district court ordered that Ousmane Sonko be re-registered on these lists. The judge detects a procedural flaw, the posting of the conviction in absentia was not done correctly. It is this decision that the highest Senegalese court must examine today. If she confirms the removal, Ousmane Sonko will be definitively ousted from the presidential race. All avenues of appeal having been exhausted in Senegal.

But another decision expected today: that of the ECOWAS court of justice. At stake, the dissolution of Ousmane Sonko’s party and the removal of the opponent. The hope is that the West African court will order Senegal to let Ousmane Sonko participate in the presidential election. For their part, the opponent’s supporters are trying to maintain the pressure and are calling for peaceful mobilization throughout the country today to demand the release of their candidate.

Read alsoSenegal: a court orders the reinstatement of opponent Ousmane Sonko on the electoral lists

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