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World Young country, old rulers: Ivory Coast's election paradox

12:10  27 october  2020
12:10  27 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

Ivory Coast president's supporters and opponents clash ahead of election

  Ivory Coast president's supporters and opponents clash ahead of election Ivory Coast president's supporters and opponents clash ahead of electionABIDJAN (Reuters) - Local offices of Ivory Coast's ruling party were ransacked and the house of an opponent of President Alassane Ouattara was set on fire, as rival supporters clashed in an eastern city ahead of the presidential election, residents said on Saturday.

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.

Ivory Coast , also known as Côte d'Ivoire, elects on national level a head of state - the president - and a legislature. The president is elected for a five-year term by the people. The National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) has 225 members, elected for a five-year term in single-seat constituencies.

Ivorians on Saturday will be called out to vote in presidential elections where the frontrunners are nearly two generations older than the average citizen.

a person riding a bicycle in front of a building: The average age in Ivory Coast is just 19, while the leading candidates in the presidential election are aged 78 and 86 © Issouf SANOGO The average age in Ivory Coast is just 19, while the leading candidates in the presidential election are aged 78 and 86

Three-quarters of Ivory Coast's fast-growing population are under 35 years old -- the average age is just 19.

In contrast, the two men leading the electoral race are Alassane Ouattara, the 78-year-old presidential incumbent, and former head of state Henri Konan Bedie, 86, who governed from 1993 to 1999.

map: Ivory Coast © STF Ivory Coast

The pair were once adversaries, became allies and now are foes once more -- an on-again, off-again relationship that has been part of the political wallpaper for decades.

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Ivory Coast , also known as Côte d'Ivoire, officially the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, is a country located on the south coast of West Africa. Ivory Coast ' s political capital is Yamoussoukro in the centre of the

Ivory Coast ' s opposition has rejected the government' s plan to reform the electoral commission ahead of next week' s election . It maintains it will boycott the elections . President Alassane Ouattara is vying for a controversial third term. His candidature has caused unrest in the country .

A third "oldie" is also casting a shadow over the election debate, but from Europe, where he is awaiting the outcome of proceedings at the International Criminal Court.

Alassane Ouattara wearing a suit and tie: President Alassane Ouattara had promised earlier this year to step down and hand on to a © Ludovic MARIN President Alassane Ouattara had promised earlier this year to step down and hand on to a "new generation"

He is 75-year-old Laurent Gbagbo, whose bid to cling to power after being defeated at the ballot box by Ouattara in 2010 unleashed a war that claimed several thousand lives.

- No handover -

Among younger political figures, two -- Pascal Affi N'Guessan, 67, and Kouadio Konan Bertin, 51 -- have been authorised to take part in the elections but are considered to have negligible success.

Two contemporaries are former rebel chief and ex-premier Guillaume Soro, aged 48, who has been barred from taking part because of a conviction, and former youth leader Charles Ble Goude, also 48, who has signalled that he will make his tilt for office at a future election.

Ivory Coast election revives old feuds over Ouattara third term

  Ivory Coast election revives old feuds over Ouattara third term When Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara announced in March he would step aside for a younger generation after his second term, the country looked to be moving past decades of often bloody rivalries among its ageing leaders. Old feuds are rumbling once again in Ivory Coast after Ouattara abruptly decided to face off against adversaries in Saturday's presidential election, stoking up the ethnic tensions and political rancour of the past. © ISSOUF SANOGO Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara, centre, says a constitutional reform allows him to run again Intercommunal clashes over his third term have killed around 30 since August, reviving fears

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast ' s electoral commission promised a fair election on Wednesday as the ruling RHDP party prepared to ask President Alassane Ouattara to stand again, defying opponents who say he does not have the right to a third term under the constitution. The election is seen as the

The story in Ivory Coast is about far more than a disputed election : it raises the question of how far there has been societal reconciliation following the recent civil war, and the wisdom of returning to adversarial politics inherent in democratic elections .

a group of people jumping in the air: Ouattara supporters at a rally outside of Abidjan. In Ivory Coast as elsewhere in Africa, spontaneous change in favour of younger, brasher leaders is a most unlikely scenario © Issouf SANOGO Ouattara supporters at a rally outside of Abidjan. In Ivory Coast as elsewhere in Africa, spontaneous change in favour of younger, brasher leaders is a most unlikely scenario

The image of a young country ruled by an old man was one that Ouattara himself ostensibly tried to avoid.


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Earlier this year, he promised to step down after a decade in power and hand on to a "new generation".

But this plan fell apart after Ouattara's hand-picked successor, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, 61, died suddenly of a heart attack.

Ouattara then decided to bid for a third term, defying accusations that he was only able to do so by tinkering with two-term constitutional limits.

- 'They don't give a damn' -

In a country where there is a dread of a return to the turmoil of 2010-11, there is also profound disaffection with politics, said Rodrigue Kone, a sociologist and political analyst.

Tensions high as Ivory Coast president seeks third term

  Tensions high as Ivory Coast president seeks third term Ivory Coast votes in a tense election on Saturday after an opposition boycott and clashes over President Alassane Ouattara's contested attempt to secure a third term. Weeks before the election saw sporadic clashes in the south of the country, mainly between local ethnic groups close to the opposition and Diaolu communities from the north who are seen as loyal to the president. The country's political feuds are often closely tied up with its leader's ethnic identities and regional loyalties.

UN peacekeepers in Ivory Coast . The UN ambassador Youssoufou Bamba has called for A second mass burial site was believed to be located near Gagnoa in the interior of the country , the UN said. The 28 November election was meant to reunite Ivory Coast , the world' s top cocoa producer, after a

This article lists political parties in Ivory Coast . Ivory Coast is a multiparty state. The Democratic Party of Côte d'Ivoire (PDCI) was the sole legal party from 1960 to 1990. It would rule for another nine years until a 1999 coup.

"A great part of the population is tired of seeing the same old play with the same actors, with the same squabbling and acts of revenge," he said.

In daily life in Ivory Coast, many conversations about politics have this phrase, or a variation of it: "Why bother to vote? They don't give a damn about us!"

"There is a crisis of trust between young people and politicians," said Alexandre Amani, the local coordinator of a pan-African movement, Tournons la Page (Let's Turn the Page), which is campaigning for change and basic freedoms.

Ageing rulers are a common phenomenon south of the Sahara.

Elsewhere in West Africa, Guinean President Alpha Conde has just been declared re-elected at the age of 82, while in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, 77, is facing a wave of youth anger, driven by corruption.

In Ivory Coast, poverty, which afflicts nearly 40 percent of the 25 million people, provides a deep well of disillusionment.

"Many highly-qualified young people are unemployed or have to do low-paid work to survive, like selling food or hawking goods," said Saturnien Ekra, head of a small campaign group in Abidjan called Action pour la Paix (Action for Peace).

- No youthquake -

Kone said a breakthrough by independent candidates in local elections in 2018 demonstrated the voters' "thirst for the renewal of the political class."

But, in Ivory Coast as elsewhere in Africa, spontaneous change in favour of younger, brasher leaders is a most unlikely scenario.

"In our societies, having an old man in power is a sign of wisdom," said political scholar Modeste Koffi Goran.

"What's the point of having a young president?" was how fellow political analyst Jules Toa Evariste framed the question.

"Age is an asset," octogenarian presidential contender Bedie told reporters in July. "Age brings together experience as well as competence."

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usr: 0
This is interesting!