The African Court of Human and Human Rights (ACHPR), in disagreement with the Ivorian Constitutional Council, on Tuesday requested the rehabilitation of Guillaume Soros’ candidacy for the October 31 presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire.
The fate of Guillaume Soro, a candidate excluded from the Ivorian constitutional election on Monday, is not sealed. The African Court of Human and Human Rights (ACHPR), a jurisdiction with which Abidjan has distanced itself, asked Côte d’Ivoire on Tuesday, September 15, to allow the former rebel leader and former prime minister to stand in the October 31 presidential election.
ACHPR “commands the State to take all necessary measures to immediately remove all obstacles preventing Guillaume Soro from exercising his right to be elected and to be elected in particular during the October 2020 presidential election”, according to the text of the regulation published on the website, while the Ivorian Constitutional Council Guillaume Soros’s candidacy was ruled “inadmissible” on Monday.
>> To read: Ivory Coast presidential election: opposition ends up against constitutional council
Côte d’Ivoire “withdrew its declaration of competence” from the court, which has its seat in Arusha, in April 2020 and has in fact lost interest in its decisions since then. This withdrawal was made just after the court ruled that legal proceedings should be closed against Guillaume Soro, who had seized it.
40 applications were rejected
On Monday, the Ivorian Constitutional Council rejected 40 of the 44 presidential candidates in October, including those of Guillaume Soro or former President Laurent Gbagbo. On the other hand, she validated the candidacy for a controversial third term by the outgoing president, Alassane Ouattara.
Guillaume Soro was sentenced on Tuesday to 20 years in prison for “concealing embezzlement of public funds”. He is also accused of “attempted rebellion”.
Abidjan accused the court of undermining “Côte d’Ivoire’s sovereignty, the functioning of government and justice” and “undermining the rule of law by creating real legal uncertainty”.
The fear of deadly violence
The African court arrested the opposition and also asked the Ivory Coast last year to reform its electoral commission in view of the presidential election.
The authorities had been very slow before implementing a reform criticized by the opposition, which had again referred to the court.
On Tuesday, the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire of former President Henri Konan Bédié, whose candidacy has been validated and who promises to be President Ouattara’s main opponent, said on Tuesday that it will not take part in the election of local election commissions on 15 September. For several months, the opposition has involved the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) and accused it of subordinating itself to power.
Fear of deadly violence ahead of the October 31 election is strong, ten years after the crisis born during the 2010 presidential election, which left 3,000 dead after President Laurent Gbagbo refused to acknowledge his electoral defeat against Alassane Ouattara