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The opposition Konan Bédié calls for a national dialogue in Ivory Coast

It will discuss the development of a new Constitution, a reconciliation process and the holding of new elections

Former President Henri Konan Bédié, who has emerged as the main voice of the opposition in Côte d’Ivoire, has called for a national dialogue between all the country’s forces with a view to overcoming the crisis triggered by the decision of the president, Alassane Ouattara, to run for a third term, which he obtained in the October 31 elections.

In a message to the nation late on Wednesday, Konan Bédié once again rejected the elections, which the opposition boycotted, claiming that the turnout was 10 percent and therefore Ouattara’s reelection lacks legitimacy. He also denounced that the violence that preceded and followed the elections leaves a hundred dead and more than 200 seriously injured.

Thus, he proposed “from now on and urgently, in accordance with the entire opposition, the organization of a national dialogue” instead of the “face to face” that he had with the president on November 11 and which has not continued. , since “what is at stake is a united Ivory Coast”.

As Konan Bédié explained, “all the forces of the nation will participate in this dialogue” and it will be held on Ivorian soil under the auspices of “credible international organizations specialized in the matter, such as the UN.”

In addition, he clarified that he will replace the National Transitional Council that the opposition formed after the elections with a view to leading the country to the holding of new elections and some of whose members, such as the leader of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), Pascal Affi N ‘ Guessan, they are incarcerated.

The objective of this dialogue, according to Konan Bédié, is “the search for solutions for a lasting peace in our country.” It should address “the development of a consensual Constitution” as well as “the implementation of a true reconciliation process, which will take into account the exiles and the release of political and military prisoners.”

Another point to be discussed, according to the opposition leader, will be the reform of the Electoral Commission in addition to the organization of presidential elections “transparent, credible and inclusive, in a calm climate.” It will also deal with “good economic, political and administrative governance” as well as “the return of the rule of law in respect of the fundamental freedoms of all citizens and of the law.”

“I invite the head of state and the government to join these proposals in the supreme interest of the nation,” said the ex-president, without for the time being from the Executive there has been a reaction to the opposition dialogue proposal.

“Together with all of you, I have the deep conviction that we can get there,” said the former president, who clarified that “in coherence with this hand out for peace, and in order to give all the options to fulfill our common dream, the The struggle will from now on privilege the marches and any other democratic form of resistance and opposition, typical of a responsible and constructive opposition. “

On the other hand, Konan Bédié took the opportunity to demand the “immediate and unconditional release” of all political leaders, including leaders, “who are still imprisoned, as well as the cessation of all legal proceedings against them.”

“Without these measures, there will be no sincere and constructive dialogue,” warned the opposition leader, who invited all Ivorians to join a “great march for dialogue and peace, the date of which will be set in the coming days.”

Meanwhile, the Government ruled this Wednesday on the possible return to the country in the coming weeks of former President Laurent Gbagbo, who last week recovered his passport as an Ivorian citizen and also obtained a diplomatic one, and announced his desire to return to the country before the end of year.

The government spokesman, Sidi Tiémoko Touré, explained that the return “depends on the legal proceedings against him.” Thus, he recalled that “he is still under appeal procedure” before the International Criminal Court and in Ivory Coast “there is a judicial procedure against him.”

Thus, he stressed, “it is in the hands of justice, it does not depend on President Ouattara or the Ivorian government.” Regarding the granting of the two passports, it has confirmed that the diplomat’s case was by “courtesy” of the president, while the other was handed over to him according to the established deadlines.

In any case, he pointed out, both steps sought to “reduce tension.” “It is better for the Ivorians that we can go to another phase of the process of living together, as claimed by the President of the Republic. That is truly the logic in which we are,” he said, according to the KOACI news portal.

Gbagbo was acquitted in 2019 by the ICC of crimes against humanity charges brought against him for his role in the post-election crisis between 2010 and 2011 after he refused to acknowledge his defeat to Ouattara. Currently, he is awaiting the appeal of the Prosecutor’s Office but is not detained, so a priori he can return to his country while the pending process is resolved.

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