Ousman Sonko PhotoSenegalese opposition leader Ousman Sonko (Photo by SEYLLOU / AFP)

Jailed Senegal Opposition Leader Sonko Seeks Presidential Candidacy

Senegal: Jailed opposition leader Sonko files for presidential election

Jailed Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko has defied the state’s refusal to provide him the necessary documents and submitted his candidacy to the constitutional council for the February presidential election.

His back-up candidate, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, who is also in prison, has filed to run as well, according to Ousseynou Ly, an official in their banned party Pastef.

The deadline for submitting candidacies and collecting signatures was December 26.

Sonko’s lawyers said they hoped the constitutional council, a judicial organ, would accept and validate his candidacy, despite the national entity that runs elections in Senegal not giving them the required documents.

Sonko, 49, was sentenced to two years in prison in June for corrupting minors. He did not attend his trial and was convicted in absentia.

He has been in jail since July on other charges, including inciting insurrection, conspiring with terrorist groups, and threatening state security.

He has denied the charges, saying they are politically motivated to prevent him from challenging President Macky Sall in the February 25 election.

In mid-December, a judge ordered that Sonko be reinstated on the list of candidates, confirming a lower court ruling that had been reversed on appeal.

Faye is the back-up candidate for the Pastef party, which was dissolved by the authorities in July.

Another opposition figure, former prime minister Aminata Toure, who used to be an ally of Sall but has since switched sides, also announced on Monday that she had filed to run for the presidency.


By dworldgist.com

Peter Ritdung Wakkias is a Nigerian blogger and programmer, known for being the CEO of www.dworldgist.com and www.gospelrespec.com. He holds a Higher National Diploma in Computer Science from Isa Mustapha Agwai 1 Polytechnic Lafia. Based in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

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