Ivory Coast: call for calm and restraint on the last day of the campaign

From APS special envoy: Ousmane Ibrahima Dia

Abidjan, Oct 29 (APS) – The Ivorian presidential candidates officially hold their last campaign rally this Thursday before Saturday’s poll under the watchful eye of observers from the African Union (AU) and ECOWAS, among others and the ICC calls for “calm and restraint”.

Four candidates are vying for this election: the outgoing president, Alassane Dramane Ouattara, candidate of the Rassemblement des houphouétistes pour la paix et la democratie (RHDP), Pascal Affi Nguessan of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), the former president of the Republic Henri Konan Bédié of the PDCI-RDA and the Independent Kouadio Konan Bertin known as KKB.

In reality, the electoral campaign as a moment of programmatic offer is much more led by two candidates, the outgoing president and the independent Kouadio Konan Bertin, the other two being in a logic of “ civil disobedience ” to contest the candidacy of Alassane Dramane Ouattara.

Kouadio Konan Bertin says KKB promises lasting peace, an emergency economic recovery plan, the creation of a more favorable business environment, an industrialization policy, the adequacy of training and employment, the fight against corruption and social inequalities.

For his last day of the campaign, a holiday because of Mawlid, the electoral machine of the incumbent candidate, Alassane Dramane Ouattara, candidate of the Rassemblement des houphouétistes pour la paix et la democratie (RHDP), will deploy for a parade and a meeting in Abobo , a town in Abidjan.

Candidate for a third term, Alassane Dramane Ouattara proposes “a more united Côte d’Ivoire” based on 5 pillars: the consolidation of peace, security and social cohesion; the structural transformation of the economy; strengthening the competitiveness of regions through a more favorable business environment and economic infrastructure; the development of a more efficient and more committed administration; the man at the heart of the united Ivory Coast.

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The two other candidates Henri Konan Bédié and Pascal Affi Nguessan remain in a logic of “ civil disobedience ” to contest the candidacy of Alassane Dramane Ouattara.

In a statement, Henri Konan Bédié and Pascal Affi Nguessan maintained their slogan of civil disobedience for: ” the withdrawal of the unconstitutional and illegal candidacy of Alassane Ouattara; reform of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) and the Constitutional Council; the International Audit of the voters list; the return of the Exiles and the release of political prisoners ”.

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said she was “ deeply concerned by the public reports and the information received by (her) Office, noting an upsurge in serious violence for several days in towns on the Coast. d’Ivoire ahead of the presidential election scheduled for October 31, 2020 ”.

” I particularly deplore the allegations of intercommunal violence which allegedly caused the death of several people, injuries and serious attacks on the property of the civilian population. These acts could constitute crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), ” said Fatou Bensouda.

She called on “all political actors and their supporters for calm and restraint”.

The violence experienced in Côte d’Ivoire during the first pre-election crisis of 2010 must not be repeated. Violence from all political stripes is not an option. Anyone who commits, orders, incites, encourages or in any other way contributes to the commission of crimes covered by the Rome Statute is liable to prosecution in the courts of Côte d’Ivoire or before the ICC, ” he said. -she says.

She also specifies that the investigations opened in Côte d’Ivoire since October 2011 are continuing and that her Office continues to closely monitor the situation throughout Ivorian territory.

For its part, the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) informed that at the end of the voter card distribution period (October 14 to 25, 2020), 3,084,288 voters have effectively withdrawn their cards, i.e. 41.15%. of 7,495,082 voters, according to the Ivorian Press Agency (AIP).

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“ In accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Code, voters who have not been able to withdraw their card, will be able to do so, on October 31, 2020, polling day, in their respective polling station where a special device will be installed for this purpose ” ‘, says the press release from the CEI sent Monday, October 26, 2020 to the AIP.

The IEC underlines that the number of polling places (10,815) and polling stations (22,381) remain unchanged on national territory and abroad. Launched on Wednesday October 14, 2020, the operation to withdraw voter cards which was to end on October 20, 2020, has been extended to Sunday October 25, 2020, the official agency still reports.

The election scheduled for Saturday will take place under the watchful eye of observers from the African Union (AU) and ECOWAS.

Election observers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) arrived in Abidjan ahead of the presidential election on October 31, 2020, the regional organization announced on Wednesday.

Ten long-term observers have already been deployed for two weeks and have held consultations with political actors during their stay. In addition, eighty short-term observers will be deployed very soon, ” she said in a statement.

The ECOWAS electoral observation mission is headed by Cheikh Hadjibou Soumaré, former Prime Minister of Senegal whose arrival in Abidjan is scheduled for Thursday.

According to the statement, “ the Conference of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS is determined to accompany the government and people of Côte d’Ivoire throughout the ballot, in accordance with the ECOWAS Additional Protocol on Democracy and the good governance of 2001 ”.

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The African Union also dispatched an observation mission from 23 October to 6 November led by Dileita Mohamed Dileita, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Djibouti.

It is made up of Ambassador Minata Samaté Cessouma, Commissioner for Political Affairs, forty short-term observers including Ambassadors accredited to the African Union (AU), Pan-African Parliamentarians including the Senegalese Djibril War, officials of the organs of management of elections, civil society organizations and African academic institutions as well as officials of the African Union Commission.

The mission is deployed in accordance with the relevant provisions of the OAU / AU Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa; the African Union Guidelines for Election Observation and Monitoring Missions in Africa adopted in 2002 by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, as well as the African Charter for Democracy elections and governance adopted in 2007.

According to a statement, “ this deployment is also in line with aspiration n ° 3 of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, which aims to ensure an Africa where good governance, democracy, human rights reign , justice and the rule of law. These instruments define the criteria that determine the nature and scope of the observation and monitoring of elections in Africa. ”

The mission aims to “provide an accurate report including an impartial assessment of the presidential election (…); make recommendations for the improvement of future electoral processes in the country based on the findings and so; demonstrate the solidarity and support of the African Union to the electoral process in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire by ensuring that the conduct of the presidential election contributes to the consolidation of democratic governance, peace and stability in the country”.

OID / AKS

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