Senegal court annuls ruling that allowed opposition leader Ousmane Sonko to run for president

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Senegalese opposition politician Ousmane Sonko greets his supporters (Picture via MUHAMADOU BITTAYE/AFP)

Senegal’s Supreme Court on Friday overturned a judgment that had put detained political opponent Ousmane Sonko back in the 2024 presidential race, ruling that the case would be retried.

“The court overturns and annuls the decision of the Ziguinchor court of October 12 and returns the case to the Dakar high court” for a retrial, the court’s president Ali Cire Ba said.

Last month, a court in Ziguinchor, the southern city where Sonko is mayor, cancelled the opponent’s removal from the electoral roll.

The state had appealed the lower court’s ruling.

“This decision does not suit us — the case will be retried but the sponsorships will soon end,” Babacar Ndiaye, one of Sonko’s lawyers, told AFP on Friday.

Obtaining sponsorships is an essential step for presidential candidates.

“The decision is disappointing,” Bamba Cisse, another of Sonko’s lawyers, said.

Sonko, 49, was on June 1 convicted in abstentia of morally corrupting a young person and sentenced to two years in prison.

He denounced the trial as a plot to exclude him from the election.

In late July he was arrested and detained on other charges, including fomenting insurrection, criminally associating with a terrorist body and endangering state security.-Africanews

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