Daily Review: Senegal’s Opposition Leader Released From Prison

Daily Review: Senegal’s Opposition Leader Released From Prison
Senegalese President Macky Sall takes part in a sideline meeting during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, Dec. 15, 2022 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

Senegal’s top opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko, was released from prison yesterday, alongside his key ally Bassirou Diomaye Faye, after an amnesty law put forth by President Macky Sall went into effect. The release comes just over a week ahead of the country’s presidential election on March 24. (AP)

Our Take

It’s unclear right now exactly what the two men’s release means for the upcoming election. Sonko was ruled ineligible to run because of a defamation conviction, but Faye is still listed as a presidential candidate and is seen as one of the favorites to win the presidency. With campaigning already underway and Sonko now free from custody, the two will undoubtedly be a strong political force ahead of the vote.

Their release also marks the end of an extended period in which Sall shook the foundations of Senegal’s democracy, considered one of the most stable in Africa.

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