Supreme Court ‘quashes and annuls’ lower court ruling to reinstate Sonko on electoral register.
Senegal’s Supreme Court on Friday overturned a decision of the lower court that would have reinstated opposition leader Ousmane Sonko on the electoral register, effectively barring him from running for president in next year’s election.
The government struck Sonko, a presidential hopeful, off the voter register after he was convicted of “corrupting youth” in June, which he contests as politically motivated to frustrate his presidential bid.
In early October, a court in southern Ziguinchor, a city where Sonko is the mayor, ordered his reinstatement on the voter register, a decision appealed by the state.
But in a highly anticipated ruling Friday, the top Court “quashed and annulled” the lower court ruling.
It sent the case back to the Dakar High Court for reconsideration, potentially prolonging Sonko’s legal battle for re-registration.
Sonko’s registration is crucial for him to contest in the February 2024 presidential election.
Separately, the Court of Justice of the regional bloc, ECOWAS, dismissed Sonko’s case Friday that sought his reinstatement on the register.
It also dismissed claims that his rights were violated by the state.
The 49-year0old, whose political party, Patriots of Senegal for Work, Ethics and Fraternity (PASTEF), was dissolved by the government early this year, was detained at the end of July in Dakar on charges which include calling for insurrection and conspiracy against the state.
He was hospitalized for several weeks amid a hunger strike before recently being returned to a Dakar prison.
Sonko finished third in the 2019 election against President Macky Sall, who ruled out running for a third term.