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Senegal's apex court to rule on Ousmane Sonko's eligibility, ECOWAS court dismisses his petition

Senegal police stands in front of the Supreme Court in Dakar, Senegal, Friday, Nov. 17, 2023.   -  
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Sylvain Cherkaoui/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved.


On Friday (Nov. 17), police officers guarded the entrance to the Dakar Supreme Court as lawyers of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko arrived at a crucial hearing.

The detained politician launched appeals after the General Directorate of Elections refused to give his representative the form needed to collect citizen sponsorships for the presidential election.

On the eve of the court ruling, members of Sonko's coalition called for a mobilization.

"This is a day when each and every one of us mus commit ourselves and show our peitriotism to stand up to the tyranny of President Macky Sall, but also to stand up to President Macky Sall's desire to crush our sovereignty, crush our choice, crush our wish, crush our hope," member of the Yewwi Askan Wi opposition coalition Maimouna Bousso, told a press conference.

"We at LACOS (Leaders Allies du Candidate Ousmane Sonko), we at Yewwi Askan Wi, have a candidate called Ousmane Sonko." 

Sonko launched a legal counter-offensive following his exclusion from contesting in the February 2025 presidential race. 

He was struck from the country's voter rolls after his conviction in a trial last June. A conviction which he contests.

The offensive included submitting two appeals at the supreme court.

On October 12, a judge in southern Senegal overturned a disbarment which prevents him from standing as a candidate in the ballot scheduled for early next year.

Sonko's supporters hope Senegal's apex court will rule in favor of his eligibility.

"Let them, in a very simple word, let President Ousmane Sonko take part in this presidential election," another member of teh opposition coalition said. 

"If this march is authorized, let the people mobilize and let this large gathering at least enable President Macky Sall to understand [that only one  court decision is expected]," Dethie Fall concluded.

On Friday,  the ECOWAS court ruled that none of Mr. Ousmane SONKO's rights were violated and denied him of his claims. The oppsition leader had brought his case before the regional court.

Sonko’s party PASTEF was dissolved in July.

The politician, popular with a section of the youth, came third in the 2019 presidential election.

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