The Opposition and Senegal's Politics of Retaliation

n May 8, 2023, a Dakar appeal court found Ousmane Sonko, the most vocal opponent to President Macky Sall's regime, guilty of defamation and public insult, thus seriously jeopardizing his chance to run for the 2024 presidential election. This verdict is the outcome of charges filed by Mame Mbaye Niang, the former Minister of Tourism and member of the ruling coalition who accused Sonko of having falsely claimed that a state audit had revealed mismanagement of funds in the implementation of the Community Agricultural Development Program (PRODAC).

On March 29, 2023, a lower court found the opposition leader guilty of libel and handed him a two-month suspended prison sentence which did not preclude him from seeking the presidency per the articles L 29 and L 30 of the electoral code.

Many believe that the judiciary is more preoccupied with silencing opponents of the regime than examining alleged financial crimes against members of the presidential camp. On the other hand, the Sall regime also appears resolute in its stance to uphold "law and order" by all means necessary. Faced with this tug-of-war and cavalier rhetoric on both sides, segments of civil society and religious leaders are ramping up their calls for peace, dialogue and mediation to avoid an unprecedented socio-political deadlock before the 2024 presidential race writes African Argument's Bamba Ndiaye


Students in the street demanding the release of their comrades arrested during the political demonstrations of March 16.

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