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Concerns will grow over bitter Ivory Coast elections

Friday, August 16, 2019

Subject

Ivorian pre-poll mobilisation.

Significance

Recent comments by President Alassane Ouattara on amending the constitution, coupled with contentious electoral reforms, have ramped up fears for the potential for violence in next year’s presidential election. With a little over a year to polling, key political figures, notably former President Laurent Gbagbo (2000-11), former President Henri Konan Bedie (1993-99) and former National Assembly President Guillaume Soro, are exploring varying political alliances to unseat Ouattara’s ruling Rally of the Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP).

Impacts

  • Strong economic growth prospects will help Ouattara’s presidential bid or that of his anointed successor.
  • Concerns will grow over the potential for renewed military unrest linked to a Soro presidential bid.
  • Controversial former minister Charles Ble Goude, recently acquitted on war crimes charges, could emerge as a spoiler in next year's polls.
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