DAKAR, Senegal — The celebration of jailed opposition chief Ousmane Sonko mentioned Sunday it was sponsoring one other candidate for the February presidential election, simply days after Senegal’s Supreme Courtroom successfully blocked Sonko’s personal bid.
Election authorities have refused to supply Sonko with the sponsorship papers that have to be submitted by early December. On Sunday, the YouTube channel of Sonko’s Pastef celebration mentioned it now would sponsor the celebration’s No. 2 politician, Bassirou Diomaye Faye.
In making the announcement, the celebration mentioned Faye “is the candidate that Pastef will sponsor,” however specified that Sonko’s candidacy has been maintained.
“Sponsoring the candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye on no account implies an abdication of the candidacy of President Ousmane Sonko,” the celebration mentioned in a communique launched Sunday.
“Everybody is aware of him effectively sufficient to know that to his final breath, he’ll battle with out compromise. To sponsor the candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye is to defeat the regime’s technique of rotting and launch one among our challenge’s many playing cards into the race.”
Faye, a tax and property inspector, is the opposition celebration’s Secretary Basic. In April he was arrested on prices of “spreading false information, insulting a Justice of the Peace and defaming a constituted physique” after making feedback on social media.
Like Sonko, he’s additionally now dealing with a slew of different legal prices that the celebration believes are politically motivated. These embrace calling for rebellion, undermining state safety and plotting towards the authority of the state amongst others.
Incumbent President Macky Sall ended years of hypothesis in July when he introduced that he wouldn’t search a 3rd time period in workplace. The transfer got here after Sonko’s supporters launched months of protests that at occasions turned lethal. The ruling celebration has since coalesced round Prime Minister Amadou Ba as its candidate of alternative.
Sonko positioned third within the final presidential election in 2019, drawing extensive help from youthful voters. Within the years since, Sonko has accused Sall and his authorities of pursuing legal prices in an effort to sideline the opposition determine’s future political aspirations.
In June, Sonko was acquitted on prices of raping a girl who labored at a therapeutic massage parlor and making dying threats towards her. However he was convicted of corrupting youth and sentenced to 2 years in jail, which ignited lethal protests throughout the nation.
___ Related Press author Krista Larson in Dakar, Senegal contributed.