This may be the final episode in the legal saga between Ousmane Sonko and the Senegalese government regarding his removal from the electoral rolls. On Tuesday, December 12, the Dakar court of first instance is set to decide whether to uphold or overturn the removal of Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko from the electoral lists. This decision holds the key to his candidacy in the 2024 presidential election and follows the Supreme Court’s rejection of his reinstatement.
On November 17, the country’s highest judicial body rejected the decision to reinstate Ousmane Sonko on the electoral lists, referring the case back to the Dakar court.
Tuesday morning marks a return to the starting point for the country’s leading opposition figure. The court of first instance will review the entire case from scratch, re-evaluating the dispute between Ousmane Sonko and the Senegalese state at its core. It will determine whether it is justifiable for Ousmane Sonko to be removed from the electoral lists following his June 1 conviction for corrupting the youth.
According to the defense attorneys, Ousmane Sonko was tried in absentia and later arrested. This arrest necessitates a new trial under Senegalese law. Meanwhile, the initial conviction is annulled, and the individual’s civic rights are restored, the defense argues.
For weeks, the legal labyrinth surrounding the political opposition leader Ousmane Sonko has revolved around this point. Being registered on the electoral lists is the primary requirement for anyone aspiring to be a candidate in an election. The resolution of this case will significantly impact the political landscape as it determines Sonko’s eligibility for future elections.