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SENEGAL – ECOWAS’S court of justice orders the state of Senegal to abolish the sponsorship law

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The Court of Justice of ECOWAS ordered the State of Senegal to abolish the law on sponsorship within 06 months, reports Emedia.sn. The decision came this Wednesday, April 28, 2021.

6 months is the deadline that the Court of Justice of the ECOWAS gave Senegal to abolish the law on sponsorship. The institution believes that this law violates the principle of free participation in elections. 

This decision was taken on Wednesday 28 April 2021 following the appeal lodged in 2020 by the Liberal Social Union (USL) of lawyer Abdoulaye Tine. According to the latter, “the sponsorship law was an eviction law that violated the civil and political rights of Senegalese and Senegalese political parties that were in the running for the 2019 presidential election. And we had to realize that it was an imprecise law that did not meet the guarantees of legal certainty. And as such, the Court must find that this law is illegal,” he said. 

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As a reminder, the law on sponsorship was adopted unanimously by the deputies of the National Assembly on 19 April 2018. This law required candidates in the presidential elections of February 24, 2019, a sponsorship of 0.8% of the electoral body. To be a candidate, it took about 52,000 signatures in at least half of the country’s fourteen regions.  

This law had stirred the Senegalese political scene during the 2019 presidential election. The Senegalese opposition and civil society considered it “undemocratic” declaring de facto that the text was intended to ensure the re-election of the head of state Macky Sall in the first round of the 2019 election. The presidential movement, meanwhile, believed that this sponsorship was a way to avoid «fanciful» candidacies.

       

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