Senegal: Ousmane Sonko calls for a “peaceful” concert with saucepans on Saturday night
Ousmane Sonko called for a concert of panders on Saturday night to protest “peacefully” against the ban on his investment rally. The opponent of the Senegalese president Macky Sall was invested by his party as presidential candidate for 2024, despite his court sentences.
Opponent Ousmane Sonko, invested by his party as presidential candidate for 2024 despite his uncertain electability, called for a concert with pans on Saturday night, July 15, in Senegal to protest “peacefully” against the ban on his investiture rally. He also called for “wearing a red color” to protest and “doing strong actions for peace”.
On June 1, Ousmane Sonko was sentenced to two years in prison in a morals case, a sentence that leaves him incapacitated as it stands, according to his lawyers and jurists. Additionally, on May 8, the opponent was given a six-month suspended prison sentence on appeal for defamation, a sentence widely seen as disqualifying him from running for president. But he has not yet exhausted his appeals to the Supreme Court.
“We will choose another date (for the investiture meeting). Macky Sall is still working to liquidate Pastef (his party) and to prevent me from being a presidential candidate,” Ousmane said on Friday evening. Sonko, speaking in Wolof and French on his party’s channel, alludes to the banning of his inaugural convention.
The governor of Dakar announced in a press release on Thursday that this gathering, originally planned for Saturday afternoon at a stadium in the suburbs of Dakar, was banned due to “the risk of disturbing public order”.
Instead of the investment meeting, Ousmane Sonko called on Friday to “arrange on Saturday evening from 20:30 to 21:00 (local and GMT), a concert with pots, horns and fireworks, a peaceful way to demonstrate his disapproval, send a message of peace to President Macky Sall and ask him to step down in peace.”
01:00 Ousmane Sonko says he “remains eligible”
President Macky Sall, elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2019, announced in early July that he will not run for president in 2024.
The appointment of Ousmane Sonko took place on Thursday during a meeting of the High Regulatory Authority of the Party (HARP), a body of Pastef, which validated decisions made by delegates from the 46 branches in Senegal and the Diaspora. .
“After a transparent and democratic investment process, Ousmane Sonko, who enjoys all his civil and political rights, is unanimously nominated by the votes cast, candidate of Pastef-Les Patriotes for the presidential election on February 25, 2024”.
Despite lawsuits, “I remain eligible” for the 2024 presidential election, Ousmane Sonko said the day after his inauguration. He also again condemned the blockade of his home in Dakar “since May 28” by the security forces, a situation which he believes is effectively putting him “in prison”.
The Senegalese judiciary also announced on Friday that it had issued an international arrest warrant against Juan Branco, the French lawyer for Ousmane Sonko, for “crimes and misdemeanors” related to the unrest that broke out in early June in Senegal.
Juan Branco announced on June 22 that he had filed a complaint in France and a request for an investigation at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague against Senegalese President Macky Sall for “crimes against humanity” following the violent demonstrations.