June 24, 2024

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Conviction of Ousmane Sonko ineligible for the next presidential election was upheld

Conviction of Ousmane Sonko ineligible for the next presidential election was upheld

On January 4, the Supreme Court upheld the six-month prison sentence handed down by the Court of Appeal last May to Tourism Minister Mame Mbe Nyang for defamation. The opposition will not be able to contest the presidential election next month.

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With our correspondent in Dakar, Juliet Dubois

After nearly 12 hours of hearings, the Supreme Court's deliberations fell into the evening, shortly before midnight, as lawyers from both sides argued at length for their absent clients.

Usman Sonko's lawyers – 13 in all – initially pleaded for an exception to the constitutionality of the law.

Citing a number of procedural flaws, they sought to overturn the appeals court's ruling on May 8. Like a subpoena that their client didn't receive.

Arguments were taken up in part by the Attorney General, who was in favor of overturning the sentence, but were rejected by the judge, so Ousmane Sonko's 6-month suspended prison sentence and 200 million CFA francs in damages continued. And it rejected the unconstitutionality exception.

The issue of the day was definitely the merit of the opponent. Even one of his lawyers ” Competition point According to his lawyers and electoral rules, this final sentence disqualifies Usman Sonko for five years. He therefore cannot contest the February 25 presidential election and must be rejected by the Constituent Assembly.

Ousmane Sonko was sentenced on appeal to a six-month suspended prison sentence for defamation and public contempt of Mame Mbaye Niang. The mayor of Ziginchor had publicly accused the current tourism minister of being singled out in the state inspector general's report of alleged fraud.

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The president of Senegal's African Patriots for Work, Ethics and Fraternity (Bastef), 49 years old, third in the 2019 presidential election, was sentenced to two months in prison in the first instance in March 2023, suspended and 200 million CFA francs (about 300,000 euros) in damages.

In another proceeding, Ousmane Sonko was convicted on June 1 of “youth corruption” and sentenced to two years in prison.