The State of Senegal on Thursday rejected the deposit filed by opponent Ousmane Sonko to compete in the 2024 presidential election, considering that removed from the electoral lists, Mr. Sonko is not "eligible" for this formality required to be a candidate , AFP learned from an official source.
Mr. Sonko, central figure with the State in a standoff of more than two years which triggered several episodes of deadly unrest , had a check deposited in the amount of 30 million FCFA (45,000 euros) to the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC), El Malick Ndiaye, responsible for its communications, told AFP.
Contacted by AFP, the CDC indicated that it then "returned, through a bailiff, the deposited check" for the opponent's deposit.
“After verification, we realized that he (Ousmane Sonko) did not receive his sponsorship forms” , an essential step to be a candidate. “He is therefore not one of the people eligible” for posting bail, Mactar Diop, communications manager for the CDC, explained to AFP.
An official from Mr. Sonko's camp confirmed to AFP that the CDC did not accept the check deposited for the opponent's deposit.
Mr. Sonko was removed from the electoral lists following his conviction in June to two years in prison for debauchery of a minor and citing this court decision, the administration refuses to issue him sponsorship forms.
Mr. Sonko denounces this affair and others of which he is the subject as machinations aimed at excluding him from the presidential election. Power defends itself against any exploitation of justice.
Mr. Sonko's removal makes him ineligible if confirmed. It gives rise to a new legal fight led by his lawyers against the State.
Mr. Sonko benefited in October from the decision of a judge in Casamance (south) who ordered his re-registration on the electoral lists and therefore put him back in the running for the presidential election. But the Supreme Court overturned that decision in November and said the case must be retried, on an unspecified date.
Mr. Sonko's lawyers filed an appeal against the Supreme Court's ruling. This appeal “will put everything back in order ,” said Mr. Ndiaye.
“Ousmane Sonko is still legally a voter and eligible, therefore entitled to be a candidate ,” said a lawyer for Mr. Sonko, Me Ciré Clédor Ly, in a message sent to AFP.
Mr. Sonko was imprisoned at the end of July on other charges, including calling for insurrection, criminal conspiracy in connection with a terrorist enterprise and endangering state security. He also disputes these accusations.
More than 200 candidates have been declared for the presidential election. President Macky Sall , elected in 2012 for seven years and re-elected in 2019 for five years, is not running for re-election.