The Dakar High Court ordered the reinstatement of Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko on the voter rolls. This reversal by the Dakar court, which initially decided to remove him from the list, could potentially revive the imprisoned opposition figure’s candidacy for the February 2024 presidential election.
The court’s decision confirms a judgment rendered in October, which was subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court in mid-November. This ruling propels the opposition leader back into the electoral race, as he had been struck off the lists following a two-year prison sentence in June related to a morals case. Ousmane Sonko now has until December 26 to submit his candidacy and secure the required endorsements.
Upon hearing the news, some of Ousmane Sonko’s supporters gathered at the courthouse, expressing joy and chanting the opposition leader’s name.
One of Sonko’s lawyers, Me Ciré Clédor Ly, stated that the state could file an appeal with the Supreme Court but emphasized that “this appeal is not suspensive.” “The electoral code is very clear. When the judge makes a decision, that decision must be immediately executed,” he assured.
Ousmane Sonko was incarcerated at the end of July on other charges, including incitement to insurrection, criminal association related to a terrorist enterprise, and undermining state security.
The opposition figure denounces the charges against him, asserting that they are part of machinations aimed at preventing him from participating in the presidential election. Meanwhile, the government contends that it is not manipulating the justice system for political purposes.