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Thursday, December 7, 2023

the Supreme Court overturns a judgment which put opponent Sonko back in the race

In Senegal, the decision of the highest court was eagerly awaited to know whether the opponent Ousmane Sonko could return to the presidential race next February. But the Supreme Court decided otherwise. She annulled the court decision which ordered the re-registration of Ousmane Sonko on the electoral lists, which allowed him to be a candidate and affirmed that the case must be retried.

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With our correspondent in Dakar, Léa-Lisa Westerhoff

After reading a fairly long and very technical deliberation in leaden silence, it’s a bit back to square one. The President of the Supreme Court overturned and annulled the decision of the Ziguinchor court of October 12. A decision which ordered the re-registration of the opponent Ousmane Sonko on the electoral lists and thus allowed him to be a presidential candidate.

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

For the Supreme Court judge, the Ziguinchor court over-interpreted a procedural defect; the opponent had been correctly notified of the cancellation decision, according to him and there was therefore no reason to cancel it.

But the Supreme Court also sent the case back to the Dakar court for a retrial on the merits.

For Ousmane Sonko’s supporters it is a huge disappointment. Especially since the public prosecutor had called on the judge of the Supreme Court to confirm the re-registration of Ousmane Sonko on the electoral lists.

Finally, the absence of one of the 5 judges when the decision was read was interpreted as a possible disavowal by the people who came to attend the hearing.

Because Even if in principle everything is still possible with this new trial, in reality, three and a half months before the presidential election, it is a race against time that is almost impossible to win. Because no date for the Dakar court to retry the case has yet been set.

The State is playing cat and mouse, concluded one of Ousmane Sonko’s lawyers who said he was very disappointed by this decision, thus depriving the Senegalese of an election in which the most popular personality of the The opposition could participate.

Read alsoOusmane Sonko: the ECOWAS Court of Justice rules that none of the Senegalese opponent’s rights have been violated

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