The fate of the main challenger to the Senegalese government, opposition leader Ousmane Sonko’s presidential candidacy, hinges on two crucial judicial decisions set to be made on Friday.
The Supreme Court is tasked with determining the legality of Ousmane Sonko’s removal from the electoral lists. This serves as the last resort within the Senegalese judicial system, while the ECOWAS Court of Justice is also expected to rule today on Ousmane Sonko’s participation in the upcoming presidential elections.
For Ousmane Sonko to be a presidential candidate, the first condition is to be registered on the electoral lists. Hence, the legal quandary surrounding the political opposition leader’s journey in Senegal revolves around this critical point. Ousmane Sonko, sentenced to two years in prison on June 1 for corrupting the youth, was automatically removed from the electoral lists.
However, a month ago, on October 12, the Ziguinchor Magistrate’s Court ordered Ousmane Sonko’s reinstatement on these lists. The judge identified a procedural flaw: the public display of the conviction in absentia was not properly executed. The Senegalese Supreme Court is now tasked with reviewing this decision. If the court confirms the removal, Ousmane Sonko will be definitively excluded from the presidential race, as all legal avenues within Senegal will have been exhausted.
Another critical decision expected today is from the ECOWAS Court of Justice. At stake is the potential dissolution of Ousmane Sonko’s party and his removal from the political scene. Hopes are pinned on the West African court ordering Senegal to allow Ousmane Sonko to participate in the presidential elections.
Meanwhile, Sonko’s supporters are actively maintaining pressure, calling for peaceful mobilization across the country today to demand the release of their candidate. The outcome of these legal verdicts will significantly shape the political landscape in Senegal, as the nation prepares for the upcoming presidential elections.