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Cote d’Ivoire government faces collapse in coalition row

Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara’s government faced collapse on Friday after his junior coalition partner said it had expelled party members named to a new cabinet

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Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara’s government faced collapse on Friday after his junior coalition partner said it had expelled party members named to a new cabinet.

Ouattara reshuffled his cabinet last week because of a row between his RDR party and the PDCI party of former President Henri Konan Bedie.

The changes went against the wishes of Bedie, who had warned party members in a letter seen by the media not to take part in the new government.

“I ask all PDCI party members to not associate with this event, or participate,” Bedie said in the letter dated July 13, referring to a meeting of the new government.

On June 16, 2018, over 600 PDCI executive members resolved to postpone merger talks with RDR until after the 2020 presidential election, Radio France International, RFI had reported.

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.

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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.

Emerging developments may aggravate the perennially volatile politics of Cote d’Ivoire , where a tenuous stability has held since a brief civil war in 2010-11 that killed 3,000 people.

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Politics

Tunisia’s Interior Ministry alleges threats to President Saied’s life

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The Tunisian Interior Ministry has alleged serious threats to the life of President Kais Saied as concerns over a mounting political crisis in the North African country grows.

The Ministry said the country’s intelligence apparatchick revealed that both internal and external elements were involved in plans targeting the president.

Ministry spokesperson Fadhila Khelifi said in a news conference that “the goal was to undermine Tunisian public security by eliminating the President.”

Though Khelifi did not give out names of the purported planners, he however assured that they would soon be rounded up and made to face trial.

President Saied has been having a running battle with the opposition in Tunisia with opponents accusing him of a coup for seizing most powers last summer to rule by decree and preparing a new constitution that he plans to put to a referendum next month.

This year alone, Saied has moved to consolidate his powers by dissolving the parliament, annuling the electoral commission and taking also taking the war to the judiciary by sacking 57 judges after accusing them of protecting Islamists.

Critics have also accused him of clamping down on the opponents with the arrest of leading opposition figures and a widespread crackdown on the opposition parties.

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Senegal’s opposition leader calls for nationwide mega protest on June 29

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Despite clashes between government security forces and anti-government protesters which led to the death of three people last week, Senegal’s main opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko, has called for a fresh demonstration to be held on June 29.

Sonko who came third in the last presidential election in the country and has a large followership made up of mainly youths, had also called on citizens to bang pots and pans in protest on Wednesday which was a huge success, prompting in his call for the July 29 showdown.

“On the 29th of July, with or without authorization, we are going to organize our demonstration,” Sonko, a leader of the PASTEF party said in a press conference on Friday.

“If President Macky Sall wants to prevent this affair, he should be ready to arrest us or terminate us.

“Let the whole of Senegal rumble and let Macky Sall understand that the Senegalese people do not agree with his dictatorial designs or his ill-fated plan for a third term,” Sonko added.

Though the police has banned protests in the West African country citing risk of unrest, Sonko and other opposition figures have called on citizens to come out enmasse for the demonstration.

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