Senegal court clears jailed opposition leader to run for presidency
A jailed opposition figure in Senegal, Ousmane Sonko, has been cleared by a court in Dakar to run for the presidential election in February 2024. Sonko’s lawyer, Bamba Cisse, emphasized the importance of respecting the people’s right to vote and choose their desired candidate.
Previously, Sonko was removed from the electoral rolls due to a two-year prison sentence for corrupting a young person. This decision triggered a two-year-long stand-off with the state, leading to several violent incidents. However, the Dakar court’s ruling, which aligns with the October ruling from Ziguinchor, has restored Sonko’s candidacy. He now has until December 26 to officially present his candidacy and obtain the necessary endorsements.
Despite the state’s potential to appeal to the Supreme Court, the judge’s decision is to be immediately implemented according to the electoral code. Supporters of Sonko, especially popular among the younger population, expressed their joy in the courtroom after the ruling. Sonko, who has been on periodic hunger strikes, has denounced the trial as a conspiracy to prevent him from participating in the presidential election.
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