Is this the effect of the summer media break or the insistent signs of a certain Afropolitical nostalgia? Former heads of state squat the African news of the moment. In “disappearance” mode like the Angolan José Eduardo dos Santos who died on Friday July 8 in Barcelona; in “tracking” mode like the Gambian Yahya Jammeh surrounded by the judicial vice.
Ivory Coast: Ouattara, Gbagbo, Bédié… What you need to know about their reunion
At the same time as Côte d’Ivoire was plotting to bring together four former Burkinabè heads of state around the condemned Blaise Compaoré – this one will ultimately only rub shoulders with one (Jean-Baptiste Ouédraogo), Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, Yacouba Isaac Zida et Michel Kafando having declined the invitation of Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba -, the country of Félix Houphouët-Boigny serialized the meeting of another boy band: the announced reunion of the three former living presidents of the Ivorian Republic.
Simple selfie ?
After legitimate hesitations and sincere diaries clutter, the time seems to have come. Laurent Gbagbo returned on June 28 from several weeks of private travel to Brussels and Henri Konan Bédié landed on July 10 from his city of Daoukro, the two former presidents were able to indicate their availability to sit down, who to the right of the current tenant of the palace, which to the left.
Ivory Coast: Gbagbo’s party at the time of reckoning
If the titans of contemporary Ivorian politics have often danced the tango in duets, on the occasion of opportunistic alliances whose combinations they have exhausted, they have rarely presented a bourrée to the general public, this dance which can be practiced with three partners. . The summit meeting is imminent, probably on July 14. Simple threesome selfie? Hypocritical smiles for a historical photograph as a terminus? The “old” Alassane Ouattara, Henri Konan Bédié and Laurent Gbagbo – 245 years old at the three of them – are not the type to distance themselves from operational political politics.
Elections in sight
The summit meeting is therefore a counterpoint to the political dialogue at the start of the year. And the agenda, in front of or behind the cameras, should be concrete: the prospect of local and regional elections in 2023, the bill creating two new seats on the central commission of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), the question prisoners considered by some to be “political”, since the electoral crises of 2010-2011 and 2020, but also the presidential election of 2025. A ballot on which each former head of state intends to weigh well, with all the ambiguity that befits on his possible participation in the casting…
The meeting of this month of July will doubtless only offer wishes of fraternity which we learned were often pious. Perhaps it will be necessary to be content with it, even to rejoice in it. Because the popular proverb indicates that “When the elephants fight, it is the ants who die”. Ivory Coast is the land of elephants, as they dance the stuffed…