Legal minds in Senegal are debating whether Ousmane Sonko is eligible to contest the 2024 presidential election. Supporters of President Macky Sall argue that it is a foregone conclusion that Ousmane Sonko is not eligible to contest the election because he is convicted by a court and sentenced to two years in prison for ‘corrupting the young’.

Others are of the view that he is eligible, considering provisions in the Senegalese constitution and electoral laws and logic based on reference from the 2019 nomination process on the validation of candidates, which is scheduled to take place from 12th to 27th December, 2023. If rejected the constitutional council may have to decide Ousmane Sonko’s fate if he decides to use this process.  

The integrity of many institutions and processes, including the judiciary and electoral process, are at stake. Good governance is a big issue in Senegal nowadays. Let us wait and see what December will bring.

Needless to say, President Macky Sall has power to bring about an inclusive, free and fair election, and ensuring peace in Senegal. He will enhance his integrity by doing so just like when he announced that he will not stand for a third term. He should think of life after the presidency. Ex-President Jammeh did not heed to our repeated advice to give thought to life after the presidency and now he cannot tell what the future holds for him.

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