November 30, 2023

Court orders reinstatement of Senegal popular opposition back on electoral roll

The chances of Senegalese main opposition leader Ousmane Sonko contesting the February 2024 presidential race received a partial boost after a court ruled that he should be included in the provisional lists of candidates for the top executive election.

Mr. Sonko’s lawyers suggested their client, who finished third in the 2019 presidential race, might run again in February 2024.

However, the State’s judicial agent stated in a statement released by news outlets that the State would appeal the judge’s judgment and that Mr. Sonko might still not be a candidate.

Sonko’s name has not been shortlisted among presidential candidates and this would prevent him from participating in the February 2024 presidential race.

The leading opposition figure was on June 1 found guilty of morally corrupting a beauty salon employee and sentenced to two years in prison.

He was convicted in absentia because he was not present at the trial, which he condemned as a ploy to derail his political career.

He was imprisoned in late July on a new set of allegations, including inciting violence and undermining state security.

His conviction in June triggered days of violent protests that killed 16 people according to the government, and up to 30, according to his party.

His supporters believe the charges against him are part of a government effort to undermine his presidential ambition in 2024.

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