Senegal's top court dashes jailed opposition leader's election hopes


Embroiled in legal battles, Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko faces two court rulings against his running in the 2024 presidential election.

As the February election approaches, Sonko was looking to drum up national and international support to save both his party and his chances in the electoral race – but two unfavourable rulings suggest his campaign now has very little chance.

Senegal's Supreme Court ruled Friday that his civil and democratic rights should not be restored, just hours after a West African regional court rejected his claim that the state had treated him unfairly.

In mid-October a judge from Sonko's stronghold of Ziguinchor, the city in the region of Casamance where he has been mayor since January 2022, ordered that he be reinstated on electoral lists for the February vote.

The decision meant that Sonko should be able to run in the polls, his lawyers said.

But the Senegalese government has refused to follow the order and instead dissolved the national electoral commission, replacing all its members.

The Supreme Court has now rejected the Ziguinchor Court decision.

"The court overturns and annuls the decision of the Ziguinchor court of 12 October and returns the case to the Dakar high court" for a retrial, the court's president Ali Cire Ba said in the latest twist of a long-running legal battle.

(with newswires)

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