The Supreme Court overturned a ruling that returned opponent Sonko to the race

The Supreme Court overturned a ruling that returned opponent Sonko to the race

In Senegal, the Supreme Court’s decision was eagerly awaited to find out whether rival Ousmane Sonko might return to the presidential race next February. But the Supreme Court decided otherwise. It annulled the court’s decision to re-register Ousmane Sonko on the electoral lists, allowing him to run, and stressed that the case must be retried.

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With our correspondent in Dakar, Leah Lisa Westerhoff

After reading rather long and highly technical deliberations in leaden silence, we are a little back to square one. The President of the Supreme Court overturned and annulled the October 12 Ziguinchor Court decision. A decision decided to re-register competitor Ousmane Sonko on the electoral lists and thus allow him to run in the presidential elections.

Read alsoSenegal: A court orders the return of the name of oppositionist Ousmane Sonko to the electoral lists

For the Supreme Court judge, the Ziguinchor court over-explained the procedural defect; The opponent was properly notified of the cancellation decision, he said, and therefore there was no reason to cancel it.

But the Supreme Court also returned the case to the Dakar court for retrial on the merits.

For Ousmane Sonko’s supporters, this represents a huge disappointment. Especially since the Attorney General had called on the Supreme Court judge to confirm the re-registration of Ousmane Sonko on the electoral rolls.

Finally, the absence of one of the five judges when the decision was read was interpreted as a possible repudiation by the people who attended the hearing.

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Because even if everything is still possible in principle with this new trial, in reality, three and a half months before the presidential election, this is a race against time that is almost impossible to win. Because a date has not yet been set for the Dakar court to retry the case.

The state is playing a game of cat and mouse, concluded one of Ousmane Sonko’s lawyers, who said he was very disappointed by this decision, depriving Senegalese of an election in which the most popular figure in the opposition could participate.

The Supreme Court judge had the opportunity to improve the image of Senegalese justice, restore the rule of law, and strengthen democracy. But he evaded his responsibilities.

Sheikh Tidian Yum, Chairman of the Yowe Askan Way Leaders Conference

Leah Lisa Westerhoff

Read alsoOusmane Sonko: The ECOWAS Court of Justice ruled that none of the rights of the Senegalese opponent were violated

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