The Ivorian opposition has once again cast doubt on its participation in the presidential election on October 31. It did not withdraw from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) its “specimen posters and ballot papers”.
“For us, the CEI no longer exists as a competent body responsible for organizing the presidential election,” explained Maurice Kakou Guikahué, number two of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI, the main opposition party ) of ex-president Henri Konan Bédié.
While the electoral campaign opens Thursday, “representatives” of Mr. Bédié and former Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan “have still not presented themselves” to remove the “specimens”, explained the holder. word of the CEI, Inza Kigbafori, but “they can always come and get them”. The withdrawal of “specimens” is not essential to participate in the election.
Call to negotiate
A wing of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), led by Pascal Affi N’Guessan, for its part reminded its activists and sympathizers that in application of the slogan of “civil disobedience” launched by the opposition, “they are invited not to take part in the operation of distribution and withdrawal of voters’ cards “, which begins this Wednesday and lasts until October 20.
“It is important that the authorities understand the need to sit around a table to discuss. We still have a few days before October 31 to discuss,” FPI secretary general Issiaka Sangaré told AFP.
The opposition, which challenges the impartiality of the CEI and the Constitutional Council, has been casting doubt for a few weeks on a boycott of the ballot.
The Constitutional Council rejected on September 14 the candidacy of the former rebel leader and former Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, of the former President Laurent Gbagbo and of 38 other candidates, but validated that of President Alassane Ouattara for a controversial third term. . It also retained the candidatures of MM. Bédié and Affi N’Guessan, as well as the former deputy Kouadio Konan Bertin, dissident of the PDCI.
The opposition suspended on October 1 the participation of its two representatives in the CEI while the PDCI never sent a representative. “Today, there are no representatives of the opposition parties. The law creating the CIS requires fair representation between the opposition and the majority, which is not the case,” said M Guikahue.
Fear of violence
The fear of deadly violence is strong, ten years after the post-electoral crisis born of the 2010 presidential election which left 3,000 dead. About fifteen people died in August in violence following the announcement of the candidacy of Mr. Ouattara for a third term and clashes took place in several localities after the announcement of the list of candidates selected for voting.
Elected in 2010, re-elected in 2015, Mr. Ouattara, 78, announced in March that he was giving up running for a third term, before changing his mind in August, after the death of his designated dolphin, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly.
Ivorian law provides for a maximum of two terms, but the Constitutional Council estimated that with the new Constitution of 2016, the counter of the terms of Mr. Ouattara was reset to zero, which the opposition disputes.