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Entertainment Presidential in Côte d'Ivoire: gap between a young country and elderly candidates

11:15  27 october  2020
11:15  27 october  2020 Source:   bfmtv.com

Presidential in Côte d'Ivoire: ECOWAS in Abidjan to "consolidate and amplify" the achievements

 Presidential in Côte d'Ivoire: ECOWAS in Abidjan to © UN Photo / Basile Zoma Aerial view of the Plateau district in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. (photo illustration) A joint delegation led by ECOWAS, but also including the African Union and the UN, is in Abidjan on Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 October. With our correspondent in Abidjan, Pierre Pinto At Cédéao , we qualify this visit to Côte d'Ivoire as a mission of “preventive diplomacy” in view of the presidential election on October 31st.

Presidential elections will be held in Ivory Coast on 31 October 2020. The President of Ivory Coast will be elected for a five-year term using the two-round system.

Joe Biden was a precocious young buck when he took the oath of office to become a US senator in 1973, among the youngest people ever to sit in that chamber.

Le président ivoirien Alassane Ouattara (à gauche) et l'ancien chf d'Etat Henri Konan Bedie Henri, lors d'un rassemblement commun le 27 octobre 2015 à Abidjan. © SIA KAMBOU Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara (on the left) and former head of state Henri Konan Bedie Henri, during a rally common on October 27, 2015 in Abidjan.

A very young country, very old leaders: Saturday's presidential election in Côte d'Ivoire illustrates to the point of caricature the generational gap, which can be observed in many African countries, between the political class and the population.

In this West African country where three quarters of the population is under 35 and the average age is 19, the poll favorites are two old rivals who have dominated the political scene for three decades .

Presidential in Côte d'Ivoire: Daloa, point of departure for many candidates for exile

 Presidential in Côte d'Ivoire: Daloa, point of departure for many candidates for exile © Screenshot France 24 For this third episode of our series of reports devoted to Côte d'Ivoire, France 24 you takes you to meet the inhabitants of Daloa, one of the country's main cities. As the presidential election on October 31 approaches, Thaïs Brouck, France 24 correspondent in Côte d'Ivoire, crisscrossed the country to meet the people.

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Cote d ’ Ivoire is a democratic republic governed by a president freely elected in 2015. In May police killed a motorcycle taxi driver in a town near the country ’s western border. Eyewitnesses told human rights organizations police had attempted to extort money from the driver.

President Alassane Ouattara, 78, in power for ten years, is running for a controversial third term. Facing him, the former head of state Henri Konan Bédié, 86 (in office from 1993 to 1999), poses as the leader of the opposition, while threatening to boycott the election.

De jeunes Ivoiriens dans le quartier populaire d'Abobo, à Abidjan, le 14 février 2020. © ISSOUF SANOGO Young Ivorians in the working-class district of Abobo, in Abidjan, February 14, 2020.

The two men were successively fierce adversaries in the 1990s, allies from the 2000s for the conquest and then the exercise of power, before dividing again for two years.

The shadow of another "former" hangs over the campaign: ex-president Laurent Gbagbo, 75, in power from 2000 to 2010, acquitted at first instance of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court, saw his candidacy, presented by his supporters, invalidated.

Presidential election in Côte d'Ivoire: stakes and challenges of an election under pressure

 Presidential election in Côte d'Ivoire: stakes and challenges of an election under pressure © ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP Participation, electoral system, security ... The presidential election of October 31 faces many challenges. (illustrative image) Ivorians are being called to the polls this Saturday, October 31 for a presidential election under pressure. Alassane Ouattara is seeking a third term against an independent KKB candidate, Kouadio Konan Bertin. And the opposition, which disputes the conditions in which the poll is held, calls for preventing the election from being held.

Cote d ’ Ivoire is a democratic republic ruled by a freely elected government. In legislative elections held in 2016, the ruling government coalition won 66 percent of National The country held a presidential election in 2015 in which President Alassane Ouattara was re-elected by a significant majority.

Here are the oldest, youngest presidential candidates in history. Among the candidates running for the position in 2020, the gap in age is wide. Several other candidates , like Beto O'Rourke, Julian Castro, and Seth Moulton, are in the 40s and have announced plans to run for president in 2020.

President Ouattara had promised to hand over power to "the new generation", embodied according to him by his Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, 61, but the latter's sudden death, as well as the candidacy of Mr. Bédié, the have changed their minds.

Two other candidates are in the running, younger, but they are only outsiders: Pascal Affi N'Guessan, 67, and Kouadio Konan Bertin, 51.

- "They don't give a damn about us" -

Are absent from this presidential election two men wanting to embody the next generation: the former rebel leader and former Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, 48 years old, who saw his candidacy invalidated; the former leader of the Young Patriots Charles Blé Goudé, of the same age, who preferred to position himself for the next elections.

"There is a disaffection with politics", estimates Rodrigue Koné, sociologist and political analyst. "A large part of the population is tired of seeing the same play with the same actors, with the same scenario of scenes of household and revenge".

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many people move between the country ’s Sahel regions. and the coastal and forest ones.6 But economic Throughout the year, electoral tensions rise, notably regarding the process of distributing national identity cards, reported harassment of northerners, and the presidential candidacy of Guéï.

"There is a crisis of confidence between young people and politicians", confirms Alexandre Amani, coordinator in Côte d'Ivoire of the pan-African movement "Turning the page", which promotes democratic alternation and defense in ten countries. fundamental freedoms.

A crisis of confidence also perceptible in two neighboring countries, Guinea where the announced re-election of President Alpha Condé, 82, is provoking contestation, and Nigeria, where President Muhammadu Buhari, 77, is facing a rebellion from the youth.

In Côte d'Ivoire, young people, particularly affected by poverty and unemployment (nearly 40% of the 25 million inhabitants live below the poverty line), consider themselves neglected by political leaders.

"Many young graduates are unemployed or have to do odd jobs to survive, such as selling food or hawking goods", explains Saturnien Ekra, president of a small NGO, Action pour la paix, based in Yopougon, large popular commune of Abidjan.

- "No spontaneous generation" -

"Why vote? They don't care about us!" we often hear in conversations.

"Ivorians thirst for renewal of the political class, as evidenced by the breakthrough of independent candidates in local elections" (municipal and regional) in 2018, adds analyst Rodrigue Koné.

Beware, however, of youthism, hardly ever in sub-Saharan Africa.

"In our traditional societies, the exercise of power is assimilated to a number of years and a certain dose of experience. There is no spontaneous generation", underlines political scientist Modeste Koffi Goran.

"With us an old man in power is a sign of wisdom", he sums up.

"A young president, what for?" asks political scientist Jules Toa Évariste for his part.

Reversing the traditional political adage, political scientist Jean Alabro believes that in the minds of Ivorians, "power is given, it cannot be taken". "Otherwise, it is by snatching it from the hands of a wise man."

de-ck / pgf / thm / sba

Presidential in Côte d'Ivoire: Ouattara's victory recognized in Africa, new violence .
© Issouf SANOGO Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara in his polling station in Abidjan during the presidential election on October 31 Alassane Ouattara received reinforcement on Tuesday audience of his African peers who recognized his re-election to a controversial third term at the head of Côte d'Ivoire, where the political and security situation remained tense with new violence in the Center-East.

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