April 15th, 2024

Senegal’s top opposition leader is freed from prison ahead of presidential election

By Babacar Dione And Jessica Donati, The Associated Press on March 14, 2024.

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) – Senegal’s top opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko, was released from jail late Thursday just ahead of the country’s presidential election scheduled for March 24, his lawyer said.

Sonko’s lawyer Bamba Cisse told The Associated Press that Sonko and his key ally, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, were both set free.

It wasn’t immediately clear how their releases would impact the election, scheduled for March 24.

Faye has been named as the opposition’s election candidate after Sonko was barred from running.

Sonko, who finished third in the country’s 2019 presidential election, is widely seen as the main challenger to President Macky Sall’s ruling party. Sall himself ultimately decided not to seek a third term in office after Sonko’s supporters launched months of protests that at times turned deadly.

Presidential candidates in Senegal kicked off their election campaigns on Saturday, following weeks of violent protests across the African country after the vote was delayed.

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