The former head of State of côte d'ivoire Henri Konan Bédié, age 86, has been appointed candidate for the October presidential of the democratic Party of Ivory Coast (PDCI opposition), the leading opposition party in côte d'ivoire with 99.7% of votes at the end of a convention held last Sunday. "It is a true plebiscite," said the hero of the day, HKB, as it is known in the Ivory Coast. "The joy that animates me in this day is huge. I am happy and proud to have been elected as a candidate of the PDCI ", he then added then that the only other bid, that of Kouadio Konan Bertin, had been invalidated before the vote.
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Henri Konan Bédié and the thorny question of the age
In power from 1993 to 1999, Henri Konan Bédié was overthrown by a military coup – the first in the history of the Ivory Coast. His candidacy for the presidential election of 2000 had been invalidated. In 2010, he came third. While his opponents criticize his advanced age to claim once again to the supreme magistracy, Henri Konan Bédié has swept this argument, a flip of the hand, hammering that " age is an asset ". "For us, the PDCI, the age (...) brings together the experience and also competence ", he said. In presenting himself again to the supreme magistrature, he says, " fulfill a mission of salvation to restore the Ivory Coast ". "If we present, it is mainly for the new generations ", "the young people beset by unemployment" and " to shape with them a better future ", assured the "Sphinx of Daoukro," which will be the dean of the presidential election on 31 October. A time considered, and the re-introduction to the Constitution of an age limit to run for the presidency, alluded to by Alassane Ouattara, has been postponed in extremis.
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A third term : "that would be illegal"
the door wide open for Henri Konan Bédié who wants to go fast and exceed the question of the age to go into the field of legality and law that will undoubtedly occupy the debate, then that is an emerging application of the head of State outgoing Alassane Ouattara. In fact, the political game has been upset by the unexpected death at the beginning of July of the candidate of the party in power, the Prime minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, the dauphin appointed to the ivorian president has been in power for 11 years. Even if the leader of côte d'ivoire 78-year-old has pushed back the maturity date of a formal announcement of his candidacy, the pressing calls of his party and his clan leave little room for suspense.
In any case, his political opponents, including Henri Konan Bédié and NGOS of the civil society, him in challenging the law, the Constitution allowing only two terms. But for the power, the adoption of the new Constitution in 2016 has to reset the counters. An argument that doesn't hold for HKB. On France 24 this week, he has openly said that the outgoing president, Alassane Ouattara, can not stand for a third mandate. "It would be illegal," says he, " predicting that in this case the people would be ready to oppose this nomination.
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Towards an alliance Bédié-Gbagbo-Soro ?
Ten years after the post-election crisis which left more than 3 000 people dead, the presidential election promises to be even more tense than this are the same players that make the game. Nicknamed for his word, a rare and enigmatic "the Sphinx of Daoukro" – his stronghold in the interior of Côte d'ivoire, Henri Konan Bédié, after having been the ally of Alassane Ouattara, the dream of revenge. The ex-president, in the late strategist, has more than one string to his bow. Now, he calls for the return to the country of Laurent Gbagbo, with whom he proclaims to be agreed for a possible electoral alliance with the ifp in the second round, he announced on the French news channel. Goal : better placed at the end of the first round would get the support of the other.
But the man of "ivoirité" sees farther, and is planning to integrate the ex-president of the national Assembly, Guillaume Soro, in his conquest of power. It should be said that since his break-up with the head of State in 2018, the tenor of the opposition is closer to the two men. After his acquittal in the first instance before the international criminal Court (ICC), there is a year and a half ago, Laurent Gbagbo has received the visit of Henri Konan Bédié in Brussels. They had both called this meeting historic, as the two men have long been fierce enemies. We remember also the strong gesture, the request for forgiveness of Guillaume Soro in the direction of two former presidents. In all cases today, the three men have in common the ambition to reject the RHDP and Alassane Outtara of power.
there is still nothing official, because the REIT is also split and Laurent Gbagbo, who has not yet declared candidate, as well as Guillaume Soro, in exile in France since last December following an arrest warrant issued by the ivorian authorities, are far from having resolved their legal troubles. But the political history of Côte d'ivoire is full of political alliances. "In the alliance, we are many, but it goes without saying that the best placed, if there is a second round, will have the support of all of the other ", said HKB on France 24, without revealing all his cards or give the impression that he would be behind. A little as it was conducted in 2015, with Alassane Ouattara after the Call of Daoukro.
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The Ivory Coast, a long history of political alliances
Henri Konan Bédié has taken, he was the sole candidate of the ex-single party that ruled the Ivory Coast for three decades after independence, under the presidency of Félix Houphouët-Boigny, his mentor, who died to power at the age of 88. HKB has enjoyed a career early. Born may 5, 1934 in the village of Dadiékro, in countries baule, in a family of planters of cocoa, he became ambassador to 26 years of an Ivory Coast side just independent, then minister of the Economy in 32 years of Félix Houphouët Boigny, Baule like him, and which he claims to be a successor.
His career had a setback after corruption charges, but he was able to bounce back to become president of the national Assembly and establish himself as the dolphin's natural Houphouët-Boigny and control without sharing the PDCI.
After the death of the " Old " in 1993, he succeeded him at the end of a power struggle in the face of Alassane Ouattara, the current president. Henri Konan Bédié develops the concept nationalist of" ivoirité ", which means that the four grandparents of an Ivorian to be born in the country and that he must have lived there the past five years to be eligible to deviate from the 1995 presidential election Alassane Ouattara, at the time a senior official of the international monetary Fund (IMF) and is domiciled in the United States. Once elected, without a great opponent, HKB surfs on nationalism but his presidency, undermined by corruption, collapsed in a few hours at Christmas 1999 in the face of a mutiny of the soldiers, who transforms into a military coup, the first in the history of the country.
" today, he wants his revenge on the coup that it was poorly managed. He also wants his revenge on Ouattara, he argued (in 2010) but who does not, according to him, respected his commitment to return power to the PDCI in 2020. He doesn't want to stay in history as the one who has lost the power of the PDCI of Houphouet, " said one observer quoted by the AFP.
Lover of cigars and fine wines, HKB, which many describe as " very close to its sub ", was in fact allied with his old enemy in 2005 to create an electoral alliance, the Rassemblement des houphouëtistes for democracy and peace (RHDP). Third in the 2010 presidential behind Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara, Bédié takes its commitment and actively supports the latter during the post-electoral crisis (2010-2011), who has nearly 3,000 dead in a few months.
After a honeymoon almost perfect – Ouattara was even baptized on the third bridge of Abidjan in the name of the Bédié – with the head of State, he submits to the presidential election in 2015, HKB has again interfered with him in 2018 due to the presidential election of next October. Even if it does not give rise to an electoral pact, the alliance Bédié-Gbagbo-Soro sends a strong signal to all those who want the departure of the president. This is a dynamic that is starting three months from the date...
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