Opposition politician Ousmane Sonko will on Thursday (Dec. 14) know his fate wether he can be reinstated on the electoral rolls.
On Tuesday, his lawyers and legal counsel for the state of Senegal attended a court hearing in Dakar on Tuesday on the matter.
A potential Sonko candidacy for next February’s presidential elections depends on this ruling.
“After listening to the parties for 8 hours on the clock, plus a fifteen-minute bonus each, the judge decided to go into solitude, with his conscience and his breviary that is the rule of law – as his only guide. He will hand down his decision on December 14,” Ciré Clédor Ly, lawyer for Ousmane Sonko said.
On November 17, Senegal’s Supreme Court overturned a ruling by a court in the city of Ziguinchor. The ruling had put Ousmane Sonko back in the race for the presidential election by overturning his removal from the electoral roll.
Adama Fall, a lawyer for the State, says Sonko’s request is “inadmissible”.
“Ousmane Sonko filed his request outside of the 5-day deadline that is provided by the law” while he’d already been informed of the decision to strike him off the rolls,” Fall added.
Sonko’s lawyers are cautiously optimistic.
“We can be optimistic, and we have good reason to be. But we also know that this issue is essentially political. It is politically motivated,” Saïd Larifou said.
“It’s an area that unfortunately doesn’t fall within our remit, but which responds to considerations that are beyond our competence. But if we have to stick to the law, there is no objective, legal reason why Mr. Ousmane Sonko should be struck off the electoral roll.”
The leader of now dissolved PASTEF party was struck off the electoral roll after his conviction in June to two years’ imprisonment for “corrupting youth.” Since he was cleared of the criminal counts for which he’d been actually charged, he denounced the court ruling.
Imprisoned since late July on other charges, Sonko has repeatedly branded his legal troubles as political machinations against him.