Senegal’s opposition party, Patriots of Senegal (Pastef), declared Bassirou Diomaye Faye, their number two politician, as their candidate for the upcoming February 25 presidential election after the Supreme Court effectively halted Ousmane Sonko’s candidacy.
Despite the court’s ruling, Pastef affirmed that Sonko’s candidacy remains intact, although election authorities have denied him the necessary sponsorship papers, due by early December.
While Diomaye Faye lacks Sonko’s widespread recognition, his selection has garnered significant support among many of the party’s followers.
Amadou Sy, a Dakar resident, viewed the choice of Diomaye Faye as an “ideal” and “appropriate” decision, considering the complex political context. However, concerns were voiced about Faye’s lower profile compared to Sonko.
Another consideration raised was Faye’s current imprisonment. Serving as Pastef’s Secretary General, Faye was arrested in April on charges of spreading false news and other offenses related to social media comments. The party believes these charges are politically motivated, similar to Sonko’s situation.
Despite Faye’s incarceration, some, like Dakar resident Souleyman, remain unfazed, viewing Faye’s selection while in prison as a testament to the party’s confidence in him.
As Pastef officially nominates Faye for the presidential race, supporters of Ousmane Sonko are rallying behind the campaign, mobilizing efforts to collect sponsorships within the limited two-week timeframe.