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West Africa Politics

Ivory Coast’s Ban On Public Protests Ends Today2 minutes read

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The ban on outdoor protests in Ivory Coast will end today ahead of the West African country’s general elections holding on October 31.

President Alassane Ouattara announced the ban on demonstrations in a statement on August 20 following deadly clashes triggered by his decision to run for a third term.

He had earlier on Thursday, 6 August 2020 formally accepted his party’s nomination to be its candidate thereby defying opponents who say the constitution forbids a third term.

Opposition claims President Ouattara’s third-term bid flouts the constitution.

With the end to the ban on Wednesday, the opposition plans to begin a campaign of civil disobedience against Ouattara’s third term bid.

The opposition is demanding changes to the constitutional court, the electoral commission, and the withdrawal of Mr Ouattara’s candidacy.

Ouattara has accused the opposition of frightening the public simply to disrupt the electoral process.

International Crisis Group has urged the Ivorian authorities to allow former President Laurent Gbagbo and exiled ex-Speaker Guillaume Soro to return to the country.

Supporters of Gbagbo and Soro have condemned the government for excluding them from the presidential election and threatened to hold protests.

A weekend rally by the opposition, which has urged a united front against the president, registered a low turnout.

Ouattara had on Thursday, 6 August 2020 formally accepted his party’s nomination to be its candidate and defying opponents who say the constitution forbids a third term.

Ivory Coast’s October election is seen as the greatest test yet of the tenuous stability achieved since a brief civil war in 2010 and 2011 killed about 3,000 people following Ouattara’s first election win.

His opponents say the two-term limit in the constitution bars him from running again, but Ouattara has said his first two mandates do not count under the new constitution adopted in 2016.

Opposition party, the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), called his decision to run “deplorable.” FPI spokesman Issiaka Sangare added: “Ivory Coast could have given another signal that would have allowed democracy to continue.”

Ouattara’s other main challenger will be Henri Konan Bedie, who was president from 1993-1999 and is the confirmed candidate of one of the country’s largest parties, the PDCI.

The race is expected to be the most aggressively contested since 2010 when Gbagbo’s refusal to step down after Ouattara’s victory sparked the deadly conflict.

Bedie had earlier on disclosed that he and Gbagbo have agreed that their parties would back the other’s candidate in the event of a second-round run-off against Ouattara.

The first round of polling is expected on Oct. 31.

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Nigeria’s President Buhari Condoles with Burkina Faso President over Father’s Death

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Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has put a phone with his Burkina Faso’s counterpart, Marc Christian Kabore, to commiserate with him and the nation following the demise of the president’s 90-year old father, Bila Kabore.

Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, confirmed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

The Nigerian leader said: “I am deeply pained and saddened to hear of the death of your beloved and respected father.

“He was an outstanding leader who cared for all. His life was devoted towards the progress of the Burkinabe nation and its people.

“May God give you, the family and the entire country the fortitude to bear the loss.

“On behalf of my family, the government and the people of Nigeria, please accept our heartfelt condolences.

“May God repose his soul.”

The deceased was a distinguished Burkinabe, who served as Minister of Finance in the 60s, a board member of the country’s Central Bank and at one-time, the Vice Governor of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO).

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Inconsistencies In Guinea’s Presidential Election Results Worrisome – US

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The US has expressed concern over “inconsistencies” in preliminary results of Guinea’s presidential election.

In a statement, the US embassy spoke of a “lack of transparency in vote tabulations and inconsistencies between the announced results and tally sheets results from polling stations”.

Guinea’s 82-year-old leader Alpha Condé won a controversial third term in office, according to preliminary results, amid violent protests across the country.

The US has urged all parties to peacefully resolve electoral disputes through established institutions. It said it supported diplomatic efforts by the West African regional bloc, Ecowas, the African Unions and the UN.

The main opposition leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo, had declared himself winner and was prevented from leaving his house until Wednesday when he said the security officers outside his home had been withdrawn.

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Senegal’s President Sall Dissolves Government

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Macky Sall - Re-elected President of Senegal

Senegalese President Macky Sall has dissolved his 32-strong government team with immediate effect.

Sall signed a decree to terminate the functions of all ministers and state secretaries, the presidency said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Presidential spokesman, Abdou Latif Coulibaly said Sall had signed a decree to that effect but gave neither a reason for the move nor a date for the formation of a new cabinet.

In separate decrees, he also dismissed the president of the economic, social and environmental council, the minister of state and the secretary-general of the government.

Extending his clearing of the decks further, Sall also dismissed another former prime minister Aminata Toure from her post as chair of the country’s economic, social and environmental council (CESE).

Toure, a former justice minister, is believed to harbour presidential ambitions.

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