Senegal's highest court ruling blocks detained opposition leader Sonko from running for president

Senegal’s highest court has effectively barred detained opposition leader Ousmane Sonko from running for president early next year

Babacar Dione
Friday 17 November 2023 18:28 GMT
Senegal Opposition Leader
Senegal Opposition Leader

Senegal's highest court on Friday effectively barred detained opposition leader Ousmane Sonko from running for president early next year by overturning a decision that reinstated him on the West African country's voter rolls.

The legal setback for the embattled politician came the same day that a West African regional court dismissed his case seeking his reinstatement. Sonko was recently returned to a Dakar jail after being hospitalized for several weeks amid a hunger strike.

Senegal's government formally dissolved Sonko's political party earlier this year and canceled his voter registration after he was convicted of corrupting youth. His followers maintain the charge and prosecution were politically motivated and aimed at derailing his candidacy in the February election.

A court in the southern city of Ziguinchor, where Sonko serves as mayor, ruled in favor of restoring him to the voter rolls but the higher court “quashed and annulled” that decision, according to Sonko attorney Cire Cledor Ly. The case was remanded to the Dakar high court, he said.

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