The former Ivorian president and main opponent of the current government, Henri Konan Bédié, decided on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, to end the «transition» regime proclaimed by the opposition to denounce the illegitimate re-election of President Alassane Dramane Ouattara. It now proposes a “national dialogue” for political appeasement.
“I propose now and urgently, in agreement with all the opposition, the organization of a National Dialogue,” he said, adding in this movement: “This new framework of dialogue will see the participation of all the vital forces of the Nation (…) obviously replaces the CNT (National Transitional Council) that the Ivorian opposition had initially proposed”, wrote Henri Konan Bédié in a statement sent to the media.
The Ivorian opposition opposed to the third term of outgoing President Alassane Dramane Ouattara, had set up a «National Transitional Council» which had to form a «transitional government» to take its place. Two days after the presidential election on 31st October, and even before the proclamation of the final results, Henri Konan Bédié had been designated «president» of the CNT by the opposition spokesman, Pascal Affi N’Guessan.However, the politician had never spoken out openly on the subject.
Following the announcement of the final results by the Electoral Commission granting Alassane Dramane Ouattara a third mandate on 3 November 2020, the security forces had blockaded the homes of the main opposition leaders, including that of Henri Konan Bédié. Maurice Guikahué, Bédié’s right-hand man and several officials, including former Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan, were arrested and are still being held in prison.
The presidential election on 31 October was thus held under high tension against an opposition that had opted to boycott it through civil disobedience. Violence followed, resulting in 85 deaths and 500 injuries in the country from August to November.
A new wind of calm seems to be blowing on the political ring following the meeting between President Alassane Dramane Ouattara and the opponent Henri Konan Bédié on 11 November. A call for dialogue that could be a decisive moment towards lasting stability.