Following a prolonged battle to have its arrowhead on the ballot ahead of next year’s polls, PASTEF – the party of the jailed Senegalese opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko says it is putting forward an alternative candidate for the presidential election next year.
A recent court ruling effectively shut out Sonko from participating in the February polls. Sonko’s presidential ambitions suffered a major setback at the weekend after the Supreme Court annulled a lower court’s decision ordering his reinstatement on the presidential ballot.
This is one of the many legal battles he has been embroiled in, for the past two years. Some of the charges include libel and rape, which he flatly denies.
He was arrested in June for insurrection and he was struck off the electoral roll, ruling him out of a presidential election in February 2024.
The African Party of Senegal for Work, Ethics and Fraternity (PASTEF) is now proposing its Secretary-General, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, to be its flag-bearer.
“Sponsoring the candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye in no way implies an abdication of the candidacy of President Ousmane Sonko,” PASTEF stated.
“Everyone knows him well enough to know that to his last breath, he will fight without compromise.”
49-year old Sonko has accused President Macky Sall of seeking to exclude him from running in the presidential election.
He was thrown into the cell in July on charges including provoking insurrection, criminal association in connection with a terrorist organisation and undermining state security over incidents dating back to 2021.
Faye is also facing criminal charges that this party says are politically motivated, Associated Press reports.