The call for a boycott was launched Thursday by the opposition platform, which brings together the PDCI, Lider, GPS, the two branches of the FPI and other parties. Pascal Affi N’Guessan held a press conference at PDCI headquarters on Friday morning to clarify what the opposition means by an active boycott, but the announcement is not yet clear.
as reported from Abidjan, Jenna Le Bras
This Friday morning it was a bit of a bis repetita of the joint speech the day before by Henri Konan Bedié and Pascal Affi N’Guessan. On the podium, the latter this time without Henri Konan Bedié, but surrounded by officials from each platform, gave the main lines: the opposition rejects the electoral process if Alassane Ouattara’s candidacy is maintained and if the electoral institutions are not cleared.
“We are entering the second phase of civil disobedience,” explains Pascal Affi N’Guessan. “We therefore call on our sympathetic activists and any person in good faith to refrain from participating in the operations of the Electoral Commission” and “to prevent the holding of this election campaign by any lawful means”.
A still unclear message
A statement that is not necessarily very clear, and this is actually where the opposition’s platform shows the unit is cracking a bit: the concrete slogan is still unclear, suggesting differences in opinion from the various officials in the forms of action. Pascal Affi N’Guessan insists on the need to carry out peaceful acts, but at the same time reminds that militants have the right to defend themselves if they are physically attacked during their operations.
At the end of this conference, the message was not necessarily understood in the same way by everyone. If some activists say they are ready to go for a walk in the coming days despite the ban on demonstrations on the public highway, others defend the official message: we must fight peacefully until the government agrees to negotiate or that the large institutions African women, ECOWAS and the African Union, are launching mediation.