In Côte d’Ivoire, the standoff between Alassane Ouattara, reelected with 94.27% of the vote for a controversial third term, and the opposition hardened. The former rebel leader and former Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, in exile in France, called on the army to stand up against the Ivorian President.
In a speech Broadcast live on social networks and followed by tens of thousands of people, Guillaume Soro solemnly called on the defense and security forces to block his ex-ally, the President of the Republic Alassane Ouattara.
“You know me, dear soldiers […]. I would like to tell you that we cannot, out of fear and cowardice, allow the clan dictatorship of Mr. Alassane Ouattara to settle permanently and contemplate the empire of terror spreading over our country and taking possession of the soul. of our nation. This is why I ask you soldiers, non-commissioned officers, officers, senior officers and general officers of our army, to look at you in the mirror of your soul and your conscience and to act to stop the killings ”, a- he declared.
For Guillaume Soro – who was Alassane Ouattara’s Minister of Defense between 2011 and 2012 -, the army must “act to restore peace and harmony“, To restore to the Ivorian Constitution”its letters of nobility“And”put an end to the specter of civil war that threatens” the Ivory Coast.
“The derailment is not far away”
Questioned by Sputnik, Sylvain Nguessan, director of the Institute of strategies of Abidjan, considers that “in the current configuration, the chances that Guillaume Soro’s appeal will have a favorable response to the armed forces are low».
For his part, geopolitical expert and specialist in sub-Saharan Africa Hichem Ben Yaïche points to the risk represented by the call of the former rebel leader, who was the great architect of the accession to power of Alassane Ouattara in 2011 and unwavering support for his re-election in 2015.
“I think Guillaume Soro is going a bit too far. He is wrong to make this appeal. The disorder is already there in Côte d’Ivoire and it is likely to increase. The derailment is not very far away, ”he said.
For Hichem Ben Yaïche, “the country is on a razor’s edge, everything can change from one moment to another“. And “political temporality above ground»Of the Ivorian President does not help matters. “Alassane Ouattara manages the situation badly. He does not measure the current danger at its true value. All the wounds are reopening», He explained.
It emerges from the provisional results announced on November 3 by the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) that Alassane Ouattara largely won in the first round of the Presidential election on October 31, with 94.27% of the vote. Independent candidate Kouadio Konan Bertin obtained 1.99%. As for the former President Henri Konan Bédié and the former Prime Minister Pascal Affi Nguessan, who boycotted the ballot, they are respectively credited with 1.66% and 0.99% of the votes.
The turnout was the real issue of this election, the official outcome of which was beyond doubt. According to the CEI, it amounted to 53.1%, while the opposition mentions barely 10%. The boycott of the ballot and the violence that took place before and during its holding – and which have caused dozens of deaths since August – mar the legitimacy of the outgoing President’s re-election.
The opposition parties and political groups maintain that Alassane Ouattara’s third term is “illegal and unconstitutional”, And likely to lead to civil war. To this end, they created a National Transitional Council, headed by Henri Konan Bédié, 86 years old.
This Council has set itself the task of “prepare the framework for the organization of a fair, transparent and inclusive presidential election, to set up a transitional government and to convene a national meeting for national reconciliation with a view to the return to a final peace in Côte d’Ivoire».
The Ivorian government, which considers this action a “act of sedition», reacted quickly. Thus, since November 3, the homes in Abidjan of several opposition leaders have been surrounded by the police.
Several opponents imprisoned at home outside any legal framework. No visits, no political activities, rule of lawlessness. https://t.co/51JVTELqNH
– Mamadou Koulibaly (@M_Koulibaly) November 4, 2020
The UN, which took note of the re-election of Alassane Ouattara, “condamn violence which took place before, during and after the presidential election, and calls on all political actors to respect the constitutional order and to engage in a constructive and inclusive dialogue in order to find a solution to the crisis».
“The situation is worrying. We are witnessing an escalation because no one wants to give in. Each feeds on the actions of the other. Côte d’Ivoire has not learned from its past, and there lies the danger, ”warns Hichem Ben Yaïche.
In 2010, the electoral challenges – resulting from the fact that outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo and his second-round challenger Alassane Ouattara each claimed victory – resulted in the death of several thousand Ivorians.