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President Alassane Ouattara received his two predecessors Laurent Gbagbo and Henri Konan Bédié on Thursday 14 July. The unbeatable tenors of the Ivorian political scene met for the first time in twelve years. This meeting takes place in the context of the political dialogue, at a time of calm.
With our correspondent in Abidjan, Sidy Yansane
At the end of their meeting of about 1h30, Alassane Ouattara, Laurent Gbagbo and Henri Konan Bédié contented themselves with a very succinct joint statement that Laurent Gbagbo, the youngest of the trio, allowed himself to read. He mentioned an exchange constructive », « in the truth “what would allow” the easing of the socio-political climate in Ivory Coast.
The two former heads of state thanked their successor for “ are brotherly welcome “: ” Today’s meeting was a reunion meeting to renew contact and exchange in truth. The President of the Republic and his two predecessors have expressed a desire to turn this first meeting into a sourdough for the easing of the national socio-political climate. Laurent Gbagbo said.
President Alassane Ouattara took over and advocated for it” extraordinary meeting now becomes common and regular: I will ask them for their opinion and recommendation. I think it would be very good if the nation listened to my predecessors, their knowledge of the country, their experience. Of course also the political weight they represent. »
This reunion has been expected since Laurent Gbagbo’s return to the Ivory Coast just over a year ago. They are part of the recommendations of the political dialogue concluded last March. This meeting is symbolic, ie putting the ball on the ground and discussing peace and reconciliation. There have been signs of easing in recent weeks. First, the parties of 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 discussions are underway about the next regional and municipal elections next year to have a peaceful climate. We can also assume that they discussed the demands of Laurent Gbagbo and Henri Konan Bédié regarding the release of political prisoners, the reform of the Independent Electoral Commission and the electoral map.
► Also read: Ivory Coast: a first meeting in Ouattara-Bédié-Gbagbo since 2010 highly anticipated