Senegal’s opposition coalition said Tuesday it would stage rallies over a threat to bar one of its leaders, Ousmane Sonko, from presidential elections after he was convicted in a defamation case.

Sonko was on Monday handed a six-month suspended term that could jeopardise his bid for the 2024 elections.

His possible elimination would significantly alter the contest, and could also lead to violence from his supporters.

Sonko claims the judiciary is being used to sideline him from the vote.

“The people have to mobilise to support Ousmane Sonko in this fight,” Khalifa Sall, one of the coalition chiefs, told a press conference on Tuesday