President Alassane Ouattara received his two predecessors, Laurent Gbagbo and Henri Konan Bédié, on Thursday, July 14. The unbeatable tenors of the Ivorian political scene met for the first time in twelve years. This meeting takes place within the framework of the political dialogue, in a moment of calm.
as reported from Abidjan, Sidy Yansane
At the end of their meeting, Alassane Ouattara, Laurent Gbagbo and Henri Konan Bédié contented themselves with a very concise statement which Laurent Gbagbo, the youngest in the trio, read. He mentioned a “constructive” exchange, “in truth”, which would enable “relaxation of the socio-political climate” in Côte d’Ivoire.
Their reunion had been expected since Laurent Gbagbo returned to Côte d’Ivoire a little over a year ago. They are part of the recommendations of the political dialogue that ended in March last year. This meeting is symbolic, that is, to lay the ball on the ground and discuss for peace and reconciliation. In recent weeks, there have been signs of relief. First, the parties in Gbagbo and Bédié supported the election of Adama Bictogo, a fig from the presidential camp, as president of the National Assembly. Then Charles Blé Goudé, Laurent Gbagbo’s former minister still in The Hague, finally got his passport a month ago after a year of waiting.
We suspect that there are discussions going on about the next regional and municipal elections next year in order to have a peaceful climate. We can also assume that they discussed the demands of Laurent Gbagbo and Henri Konan Bédié for the release of political prisoners, the reform of the Independent Electoral Commission and the election map.
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