a vote under very high tension

The announcement of Alassane Ouattara’s candidacy for president of October promises a tense campaign. Opponents believe that this candidacy is illegal and demand that Laurent Gbagbo return to the election campaign.

Alassane Ouattaraa stopped the suspicion of his presidential ambitions. “I am a candidate for the October 2020 presidential election,” the current head of the Ivorian state announced on Thursday, August 6, choosing the 60th anniversary of his country’s independence to declare himself.

His candidate is not a surprise. Certainly, the outgoing president had clearly stated for several years that he would not seek a third term and publicly hand over his prime minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, to succeed him. But the latter death, which died suddenly on July 8 in Abidjan at the age of 61 from heart problems, has since seriously questioned the president’s promise. Alassane Ouattara’s return to the presidential election suggests in many respects. , a very outrageous campaign.

Alassane Ouattara’s candidacy, legal or illegal?

Legally, the question arises. The opposition considers Alassane Ouattaraill’s candidacy to be equal with respect to the new constitution adopted in 2016, which limits – like the old one – the number of presidential elections. “This issue has strongly fueled the discussions of constitutionalists in Côte d’Ivoire,” Sylvain N ‘Guessan, a political analyst at the Strategic Institute in Abidjan, said in an interview with France 24 on July 9. Opponents of Ouattara believe that because the new constitution in December 2016 did not question his election in October 2015, he has reached the limit and no longer has the right to stand. the Constitution to express itself. “

On Friday, Maurice Kakou Guikaoué, Executive Secretary of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI), interviewed by the RFI, announced the submission of an appeal against this candidacy to the Constitutional Council.

In this context, two possible scenarios arise, according to journalist Clément Yao, in an article in “Africa Today”. “At best, given the tensions and controversies surrounding the Constitution and also due to the short deadline for rebalancing the Independent Electoral Commission […], the Ivorian authorities could take these elements to justify the postponement of the October 31 presidential election to another date, perhaps more consensus. “

Ivory Coast: Presidential elections will be held on 31 October

In the second case, if President Ouattara’s candidacy is validated by the Constitutional Council, “the situation could degenerate even before the date when the Ivorians are called to the polls, the editor continues. In this worst case, the consequences would be catastrophic. as the country experienced during the post-election crisis of 2010-2011. “Some observers even go so far as to say that the same violence could engulf the region, which has already been weakened by jihadist movements. It would then be “all military efforts that could then be crushed,” concludes Clément Yao.

From gloomy prospects to political analyst Sylvain N’Guessannuancein a new interview with France 24. “I think his candidacy will be validated by the Ivorian Electoral Commission (CEI). The latter may indeed have the thought required to objectively analyze the Article “One thing is for sure, in this context the candidate for Alassane Ouattarava will cause concern. But I do not think they will fit in with the times.”

Laurent Gbagbo’s return

Another point of tension in the campaign, the question of Laurent Gbagbo’s return. Three months before the election, supporters of the former president are still hoping for his return to the country. The former Ivorian head of state, acquitted and then released on parole by the International Criminal Court, is awaiting his passport.

But is such a return possible? Article II of the Ivorian Constitution provides that no Ivorian may hold a vote if he is in exile. But from the moment the ICC allows Laurent Gbagbo to return, it becomes possible to run. “He still has to have the will,” Sylvain N’Guessan said. “If that is the case, it would be desirable for him to be able to return. In my opinion, it will be necessary to favor the political compromise: it would be interesting for the dialogue that began. talk to Prime Minister Bakayokopuisse to continue and that a political solution is preferred. “


Demonstrations and “police brutality”

On the ground, the situation is already tense. A demonstration by supporters of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, intended to condemn “his absence from the electoral roll”, spread with batons and tear gas on Thursday in Abidjan. The Ivorian Electoral Commission, IbrahimeCoulibaly-Kuibiert, had declared two days earlier that every person convicted of a crime or a crime for depriving them of their civil rights was removed from the electoral rolls.

For their part, Laurent Gbagbo’s believers accuse the Ivorian power of political maneuvers to prevent it from returning to the front of the stage. “Demonstrations will continue until the names of our leaders are registered on the electoral roll. (…) so that they can enjoy their rights,” said Jean Bahai, head of a structure for the Ivorian People’s Front (FPI, party created by Laurent Gbagbo). , condemns “police brutality” and reports “three arrests and” seriously injured “in its ranks.

It remains to be hoped that the scenario for the 2010 presidential campaign will not be repeated: ten years ago, Alassane Ouattara’s victory over Laurent Gbagbo triggered a civil war that lasted several months, leaving 3,000 dead.