Henri Konan Bédié, unifier, calls for “return of exiles”

Former President Henri Konan Bédié, who was officially invested by his party on Saturday, called for a union of the Ivorian opposition during a meeting in Yamoussoukro. “Daoukro Sphinx” aims to return to power, more than twenty years after being overthrown by a coup, if possible with the help of Laurent Gbagbo and Guillaume Soro.

Gather the Ivorian opposition around his candidacy, such seemed to be the ambition forHenri Konan Bédié for his official investment in his party, Saturday 12 September. On this occasion, the former President (1993-1999) and the leader of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI) spoke at a meeting that brought together tens of thousands of activists in Yamoussoukro, the hometown of Félix Houphouët-Boigny – President of the Republic from 1960 to 1993, founder of the PDCI. and mentor for “HKB”, who claims his legacy.

“I invite all political formations and political platforms, who so wish, to support my candidacy for the presidential election on October 31, 2020 (…). I will join the opposition to win this presidential election,” Henri Konan Bédié, 86, explained in the stands old.

The “Sphinx of Daoukro” also formulated this promise in case of success in the presidential election: “I commit myself from my accession to the Supreme Court, to establish a government with wide transparency, federate all political formations and forces social groups that so desire and take concrete and immediate measures for the unconditional return of all refugees, the release of all political, civilian and military prisoners from the post-election crisis of 2010 to today. “

A collective message to, among others, ex-president Laurent Gbagbo and ex-rebel leader and former prime minister Guillaume Soro. These two heavyweights in Ivorian politics are banished both in Belgium and in France. And on Saturday, delegations from their respective parties, the Ivorian Popular Front and Generations and Peoples in Solidarity, were present in the congregation.

Gbagbo and Soro dropped the lists, questioning Ouattara’s candidacy

Laurent Gbagbo and Guillaume Soro saw relatives submit their respective candidacies for the presidential election at the end of August. However, they have little chance of success: one was convicted of the so-called “BCEAO robbery”, the other of “concealing the embezzlement of public funds”, which gave them ” deleted from the electoral roll on 22 August by the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI ).

The Ivorian Constitutional Council, which will steer and publish the list of validated candidates for next week’s presidential election, should follow the CEI’s path and annul these two candidates, according to legal sources contacted by AFP.

>> To see and read about France 24:Ivory Coast: can Laurent Gbagbo and Guillaume Soros’ candidacies succeed?

This situation may favor the candidacy of Henri Konan Bédié, determined to rally the Ivorian opposition.

86 years old – an age that has given him criticism but which he considers “an asset” for the presidential office – “HKB” aims to gain the upper hand over the outgoing president, Alassane Ouattara, with whom he has been in political shortage since 2018. ” He wants his revenge on Ouattara, which he supported [en 2010], but who, according to him, has not respected his commitment to return power to the PDCI 2020. He does not want to remain in history as the one who lost power in the PDCI d’Houphouët “, appreciated in July 2020 an observer of Ivorian political life.

The fact that Alassane Ouattara is going for a third period in a row – which is the subject of a legal challenge – has only increased the tension. “Ouattara’s third term would be illegal [selon la Constitution ivoirienne]”, Henri Konan Bédié confirmed in an interview given on July 24 to France.

>> Also read on France24.com: Presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire: an election under very high tension

Like the previous one, the Ivorian Constitution 2016 limits the number of presidential seats to two. But supporters of Alassane Ouattara claim that the amendment to the constitution has reset the counter to zero. The announcement of his candidacy sparked protests that degenerated into violence that left several dead in August.

And a few weeks before a presidential election that promises to be under high tension, the ghost of a scenario similar to the 2010 presidential election, in which the then president, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to admit his defeat against Alassane Ouattara, had killed 3000.

With AFP