A judge in the southern Senegalese city of Ziguinchor has cancelled the removal of imprisoned opposition politician Ousmane Sonko from electoral lists, his lawyers and now-dissolved political party said.
Authorities had removed Sonko’s name from the lists preventing him from contesting February’s presidential election.
But the judge’s decison late Thursday means Sonko – who came third in the 2019 presidential election – will be able to contest next year’s race, his lawyers said.
The state will appeal, its judicial agent said in a statement, adding that it was still possible that Sonko would be blocked from running.
Sonko’s lawyers launched a legal challenge on Thursday before a court in Ziguinchor, the city where he was listed and is also mayor.
The firebrand politician was on June 1 found guilty of morally corrupting a young person, and sentenced to two years in prison.
He was not present at the trial, which he denounced as a plot to torpedo his political career, and was convicted in absentia.
In late July, he was imprisoned on a fresh string of charges, including fomenting insurrection, criminal association in connection with a terrorist enterprise and undermining state security over incidents dating back to 2021.
His conviction in June sparked clashes that left 16 dead, according to the government, or as many as 30, according to his party.