Former Ivorian Prime Minister and candidate for the upcoming presidential election on October 31, Pascal Affi N’Guessan, 67, is yet another politician declaring his outrage at the Constitutional Council’s decision to deem the sought third term of the current president as valid — when, to many, it is unconstitutional.
Pascal Affi N’Guessan: “I will not be a candidate in a rigged presidential election. I will not be an accompanist in this coup d’état.”
Affi N’Guessan, boldly assumed his stance in a public address, “Because of the dictatorship of Alassane Ouattara, I fully and completely support the call for disobedience advocated by President Henri Konan Bédié and all the political and social forces in Ivory Coast. On behalf of the FPI, I appeal to all activists and supporters, all Ivorians who love peace, freedom and democracy to be ready to translate into concrete steps the calls to action that will ensue in the coming days.”
Pascal Affi N’Guessan — although contested by a pro-Gbagbo faction within the party, is legally the president of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI). founded by former president Laurent Gbagbo, but he is contested by a faction of his followers, the “Gor” (Gbagbo or nothing) who do not recognise him as the leader.
The violence that broke out in Cote d’Ivoire after the announcement of Ouattara’s candidacy left around 15 people dead in August as many fear a repeat of the volatile election crisis ten years back that took 3,000 lives.
Elected in 2010, re-elected in 2015, President Ouattara, 78, had announced in March that he would not seek a third term, before changing his mind in August after the death of his runner-up, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly.
Surrounded by several members of the opposition, Bédié had launched his appeal on Sunday after the Constitutional Council’s decision to validate the candidacy for a controversial third term of President Alassane Ouattara and to reject 40 of the 44 candidates including those of former President Laurent Gbagbo and former rebel leader and Prime Minister Guillaume Soro.