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IVORY COAST: Press release : Guillaume Soro: The architect of the OUATTARA candidacy in 2005

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“It was following a letter that the decision was taken to allow OUATTARA to be a candidate”. The President of Générations et Peuples Solidaires (GPS) Mr. Guillaume Kigbafori SORO discussed this Thursday, September 17, 2020 with the international press at the conference room of the Hotel Bristol in Paris. As was to be expected, all the elites of the world’s mainstream media operating on Parisian soil responded to this meeting. No one wanted to miss this press conference which will have to break this long silence observed by Guillaume SORO for a long time. These men and women of these bodies have been well served. Accustomed and very at ease when he finds himself with the world of the press, the President of GPS descended with them in the twists and turns of the major agreements which punctuated the Ivorian crisis that started in 2002. Without, however, unpacking everything, from Pretoria to Linas-Marcoussis, Guillaume Kigbafori SORO all the same took with the journalists, behind the scenes of the path they took during these talks to allow Alassane OUATTARA to be a candidate because of his dubious nationality.

A large extract from the intervention of Générations et Peuples Solidaire.

“It was in 2005 indeed. Mr. Ouattara having been excluded and subject to a constitutional judgment since 2000 from Tai KONE, which meant that Mr. Ouattara could not be a candidate in Côte d’Ivoire, since his nationality was contested. That’s right, and he had tried to be a presidential candidate, he was rejected, he tried to be a legislative candidate, he was rejected again on the same nationality issue.

When we made the Linas-Marcoussis political agreement, this agreement first asked that all the signatories, that is to say those who had signed the agreement, can participate in the presidential election to preserve the integrity of the territory and bring peace to Côte d’Ivoire. Based on this agreement which had become a United Nations resolution, since the Linas-Marcoussis agreement was knighted by the United Nations system. I was in Pretoria as you can imagine and I was actively involved. President Gbagbo is still alive, President Tabo MBEKI is alive, so we have been active, so that President Laurent Gbagbo can allow Mr. OUATTARA to be a candidate. It happened as follows: We first discussed at five, then President Gbagbo asked to withdraw to discuss with Mr. OUATTARA in the presence of Mr. MBEKI, then President Gbagbo asked President MBEKI to ask him send a mail, so that he can also present this mail to his camp. And it was following this letter that the decision was taken to allow Mr. OUATTARA to be a candidate.

You allow me to make a historical reminder, and that is why I can tell you that, I cannot understand that we went through so many difficulties, of vicissitudes, to obtain that Mr. OUATTARA is a candidate in Côte d ‘Ivoire and he sees, what were the difficulties, so that, once installed in power, he acted as if everything was due to him and that the Ivory Coast belonged to him. And he gets up to exile the children of Ivory Coast, he sits down and he decides he is going to push everyone away. But I can’t understand.

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The role played by Minister Sansan Kambilé. The Minister of Justice threatened and sent the president of a court to come and watch him in the room.

Me, in my case, it is clear that a trial was rushed, just to get rid of me. Because in this case of concealment of property that has been tried? I am the only one to have been rushed to trial and the trial took place in 40 minutes. The first magistrate who had been appointed recused himself, he refused. The second who was appointed wanted to go out of his way to postpone the case. The Minister of Justice threatened him and sent the president of a court to come and watch him in the room. What I am telling you has been reported to us. Poor Sissoko Amoulaye, by the way, I wish him good health, because he was given the verdict and he should read it. The poor man was unhappy to find himself caught up in a political plot that he perhaps did not want! So that’s not a political problem.

And I gave you the solution. Mr. OUATTARA, his first term is subject to a press release from the African Union. Me, I have two decisions that say I’m eligible. Therefore, it is for the Constitutional Council to act on the decisions of the African Court. So when you tell me we have to go on political ground, I say no! If I go to political terrain, I miss everything. My strength is the law. The law is with me. I wait for the arbitrary to pass, so that the law is exercised.

So, for me, the Constitutional Council of Côte d’Ivoire, if we had a president of the Constitutional Council, who was not sweating like I saw KONE, he would make the decision, to say refer to the charter of the African Court and it’s over. Anyway, I say to Ivorian jurists, I say to Ivorian justice, I have court decisions, I must be restored to my rights. As for going to an election, that is my decision and the decision of my political party. But, in the meantime, I must be restored to my rights … “

Source : Guillaume Soro Communiqué