While the electoral commission requested on October 31st that Ousmane Sonko be reinstated on the electoral lists, the Ministry of the Interior has declined. This currently bars the opposition leader from participating in the presidential election scheduled for February 2024.
On October 31st, supporters of Ousmane Sonko briefly celebrated what they thought was a victory when the electoral commission called on the authorities to reinstate the opposition leader’s status as a voter, allowing him to retrieve his sponsorship forms, the essential documents required for his candidacy in the February 2024 presidential election.
However, the Ministry of the Interior swiftly responded later that evening. They once again refused to release the sponsorship forms, affirming that, at present, “Ousmane Sonko is not listed on the electoral register.”
Reinstated on October 12th
Initially removed from the lists after being sentenced to a two-year prison term for corrupting the youth on June 1st, Ousmane Sonko was ultimately reinstated on October 12th by a judge at the Ziguinchor court, a city in the southern part of the country where he serves as the mayor. This judicial decision was contested by the state’s lawyers, who then referred the matter to the Supreme Court.
For several weeks, the General Directorate of Elections, which falls under the Ministry of the Interior, has refused to provide Ousmane Sonko’s representative with his sponsorship forms, arguing that the judgment has not yet become final. “The state is refusing to execute a court decision, and we no longer have confidence in the administration,” expressed Maître Bamba Cissé, Ousmane Sonko’s attorney.