In the aftermath of the annulment of 40 of 44 presidential candidates, including those of former head of state Laurent Gbagbo and former rebel leader and former prime minister Guillaume Soro, the opposition on Tuesday condemned the “tyrannical nature of the regime”.
The Ivorian opposition did not like the decision of the Constitutional Council. The day before, the body validated President Alassane Ouattara’s controversial candidacy for a third term and rejected 40 of the 44 candidates, including former head of state Laurent Gbagbo and former rebel leader and former prime minister. Minister Guillaume Soro. The announcement of this candidacy had provoked clashes, particularly society, which had killed about fifteen people in August.
Former Laurent Gbagbo Prime Minister Pascal Affi Nguessan, whose candidacy has been validated, on Tuesday, September 15, condemned the “spiral of exclusion where the Ivory Coast is sinking”, which he described as “the most successful manifestation of the regime’s tyrannical nature”.
The ghost of the resumption of violence
“The Constitutional Council missed the historic opportunity to mark its independence: by accepting the candidacy of the outgoing president, manifestly ineligible, by refusing President Laurent Gbagbo and Guillaume Soro, deprived of their civil rights for purely political reasons,” he condemned. in a statement.
Elected in 2010, re-elected in 2015, Alassane Ouattara initially announced in March his decision to give up participating in a third term. Before he changed his mind in August, following the sudden death of a heart attack by his Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, whom he had designated as his dolphin.
The Council estimated that with the new constitution in 2016, the country had entered a new republic and because the mandate counter had been reset, even though the new text, like the previous one, limits the number of mandates to two. President.
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 admit his defeat to Alassane Ouattara.
A “partial and partial list”
In the first instance convicted of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court, Gbagbo is awaiting a possible appeal in Belgium. His supporters had applied for presidential election, but he himself had never spoken on the subject.
His candidacy was annulled due to a conviction in January 2018 to 20 years in prison of Ivorian justice, as part of the 2010-2011 crisis.
“This partial and biased list compels me. It compels me to a clear victory to turn this black side in our country’s history,” assured Mr. Affi Nguessan.
Guillaume Soro, whose candidacy was deemed inadmissible due to a conviction by Ivorian justice of 20 years in prison for concealing “embezzlement of public funds”, reacted on Monday night on Twitter and Facebook.
“I strongly question the unfair and unfounded decision taken by the Constitutional Council. I believe that it is an unfair decision, politically motivated, legally paralyzed and part of a logic for the annihilation of democracy and the rule of law.” Soro, a former ally of Ouattara who helped him gain power in 2010, before being released in 2018.
Guillaume Soro, living in exile, condemned “Alassane Ouattara’s perjury” announced that he would “commit a new stage in our struggle for democracy in our country. It will be bitter but we will win it”, he promised and announced that he would speak more at a press conference in France on Thursday.
A “subordinate” independent election commission
For its part, the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire by former President Henri Konan Bédié, whose candidacy has been validated and who promises to be President Ouattara’s main opponent, has not reacted to the Council’s decision. . However, he announced on Tuesday “not to run in the elections for the offices of the local election commissions on September 15”.
The Constitutional Council validated my candidacy. We are still in good order for the re-conquest of state power and the construction of a reconciled, united and prosperous Ivory Coast 🇨🇮. # HKB2020
– Henri Konan Bédié (@HKBofficiel) September 14, 2020
The PDCI and the opposition have for several months called for a reform of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) which they consider to be “subordinate” to power and have already openly or covertly threatened the threat of a boycott of the vote.
The lack of participation from PDCI will not prevent the election process from taking its course, according to CEI. It should guarantee President Ouattara’s party most local presidencies, but the election of a majority of presidents was already acquired due to the composition of these committees, an observer said.
On Monday, while the Constitutional Council’s decision was not known, demonstrations and marches against Ouattara’s candidacy ended with clashes with police in several cities off the Ivory Coast. A large police force was visible in Abidjan on Tuesday morning, while reinforcements of the police were sent to the provinces.