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Côte d’Ivoire’s Ouattara seeks third term, forcing collapse of unity talks

President Alasanne Outtara’s decision to seek a third term in office may have forced a collapse of merger talks with the country’s other leading political party, PDCI, led by ex-President Henri Konan Bédié’

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President Alasanne Outtara’s decision to seek a third term in office may have forced a collapse of merger talks with the country’s other leading political party, PDCI, led by ex-President Henri Konan Bédié’.

PDCI now says it will field a candidate in the 2020 presidential election.

The long-standing alliance between two of Côte d’Ivoire’s largest political parties, the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire, PDCI, of former President Henri Konan Bédié and the Rally of Democrats, RDR of current Head of State Alasanne Dramane Ouattara, now hangs in the balance.

This followed a June 16, 2018 meeting by over 600 PDCI executive members who resolved to postpone merger talks with RDR until after the 2020 presidential election, Radio France International, RFI reported on June 18, 2018.

The political bureau members said it was PDCI’s turn to field a candidate in the next presidential poll after supporting RDR’s Alassane Ouattara in 2010 and 2015. After six hours of discussions, PDCI executive members approved the deal to merge PDCI with RDR and other smaller parties, but did not fix any party congress this year to seal the agreement before elections in 2020.

“The political bureau decides to postpone the 13th PDCI/RDA congress until after the 2020 presidential election. The political bureau reassures party members and supporters of the party’s determination to reconquer power in 2020,” N’Dri Kouadio Narcisse, PDCI spokesman told the press.

“The question of party merger will be discussed after PDCI takes over power in 2020 and we are so happy with the decision,” commented a young party supporter.

Observers say the PDCI’s sudden change of mind is a response to a statement earlier this month by President Alassane Ouattara. In an interview with French language weekly, Jeune Afrique on June 3, 2018, Ouattara said he was free to stand for a third term in 2020 under the new constitution. “I will only make a definite decision then, based on the situation in Ivory Coast. Stability and peace come before all else, including my principles,” he said.

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Politics

Like Mali, Burkina Faso junta suspends France’s RFI radio over broadcast of militant speech

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West African country, Burkina Faso, has gone the way of its neighbour, Mali, as its ruling junta has suspended the broadcast of France’s RFI radio.

The suspension comes after what the junta said were false reports and giving voice to Islamist militants, a statement from the government said on Saturday.

According to a statement by the radio station, “RFI strongly deplores this decision and protests against the totally unfounded accusations calling into question its professionalism,” State-owned Radio France Internationale, usually referred to as RFI.

The statement added that the decision to suspend its broadcasting was made without prior notice and without the implementation of the procedures put in place by Burkina Faso’s communications regulator.

The ruling junta which came into power in a recent coup in September accused the RFI also repeated a press report – which it denied – that Burkina Faso’s President Captain Ibrahim Traore, who seized power in a coup in September, had said there had been an attempted coup trying to unseat him.

Burkina Faso’s neighbour, Mali, under military reign, suspended broadcasts by French state-funded international news outlets RFI and France 24 amid accusations of reporting “false allegations”.

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Tunisian labour union, UGTT threatens political disruption as elections draws near

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As the North African country, Tunisia braces up for elections, labour union, UGTT has threatened not to disrupt proceedings under the current political arrangement.

UGTT attacked president Saied political and economic agenda on Saturday, including the elections scheduled for this month. The union said that it will no longer accept what it called a threat to democracy in its clearest challenge to him yet.

UGTT’s leader Noureddine Taboubi said in a speech to thousands of supporters, the union will ” no longer accept the current path because of its ambiguity and individual rule, and the unpleasant surprises it hides for the fate of the country and democracy.”

“We will not hesitate to defend rights and freedoms whatever the cost,” he added, in his strongest criticism yet of the president.

“We will not abide by secret agreements the government has with the International Monetary Fund and the workers will stand up to it,” Taboubi said.

Taboubi said the December election would “have no colour and taste” as a result of Saied’s constitution and that the vote lacked national unanimity.

President Kais Saied hinted that the country will not accept foreign observers for the planned elections for later this year.

There have been protests for and against president Saied’s approach to governance of the Tunisian public.

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