Posted On July 20, 2017 By In None With 186 Views

Senegal’s Supreme Court rejects bail for divisive mayor

Dakar, July 20, 2017 (AFP)

Senegal’s Supreme Court rejected bail for Dakar’s popular mayor on Thursday, preventing him from campaigning in upcoming legislative elections and likely sparking further tensions with supporters of his rival, President Macky Sall.
Mayor Khalifa Sall (no relation) was arrested more than four months ago on corruption charges and has been serially denied bail, but is at the top of a list of opposition coalition candidates vying for 165 seats in the July 30 vote.
The mayor has not exhausted his appeals in the case and another bail request is pending before a Senegalese court.
His lawyer told AFP the mayor was being “deprived of his political right to solicit votes from fellow citizens” as well as “his own right to vote” after the Supreme Court decision, which upholds the ruling of the appeal court.
Mayor Sall was seen as a strong contender for the presidency before his arrest over the alleged misappropriation of 1.83 billion CFA francs ($2.85 million, 2.7 million euros) in city funds.
His supporters say the timing of the allegations is designed to weaken his chances of forging ahead against his arch-rival, President Sall.
The opposition candidate said he would accept “neither resignation nor the silence that the powers that be would reduce me to,” in a letter written from jail this month, and denies all charges.
On Friday rival supporters of President Sall and Mayor Sall clashed in northern Dakar armed with knives, injuring several people, and in April thousands protested against the opposition candidate’s ongoing detention.
Senegal is widely seen as one of Africa’s most stable democracies.

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