Côte d’Ivoire: What civil society to the 2015 presidential election?

Activités de la CSCI : La convention de la société civile ivoirienne lance la deuxième édition des journées de consensus national. Crédit photo Serge T/abidjan.net
The election date for October 2015 is fast approaching with large stride. Political parties are active on both sides. Some politicians have already announced their candidacy. Alassane Ouattara, the incumbent president has already been invested by his party the RDR, to run for a second term.

The struggle for the conquest of the presidential palace in Abidjan is opened.

However, a big question remains in the minds of Ivorians.

Will Ivory Coast sink once again into war?

The 2010 presidential election so expected ended in a war that has left more than 3,000 dead. Thousands of people still bear the scars.

The Dialogue Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CDVR), which aims to reconcile the Ivorians is still far from its goal. Fears are enormous, resentments are still there, 2015 looks the year of all dangers.

What solutions so for peaceful elections? What should we do to meet the ballot box?

With all his questions, many answers exist. One way forward would be that of civil society.

The Civil Society must be increasingly called upon to participate in the electoral process. His presence on the ground is justified by concerns for the transparency of operations, but also by a desire to train and mentor people on the issues of peaceful the election.

In our country the civil society is organized around an organization called the Convention of Ivorian Civil Society (CSCI), it brings together 132 national structures among them, religious denominations, professional organizations, unions, NGOs, community-based organizations. CSCI, has taken on the mission to promote human rights, the rule of law, good governance, participatory democracy, through multiple activities in partnership with international organizations.

Dr. Christophe Kouamé is the national coordinator. It is represented in the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). But then again what can it (the Civil Society) do in a committee dominated and controlled by Politicians?

Nothing, we need to be realistic.

In fact the Civil Society organization also took part in the first IEC of 2010 and its presence had not prevented politicians from taking over and dominate the electoral process, thus tearing down the country.

It is therefore very important for civil society to get more active by using mass media to sensitize and educate the population on electoral issues. But also to put pressure on the politicians so that the election is free, fair and transparent especially for the results of the ballot boxes be respected by all.

We have seen it in Senegal with the collective “Y en marre” (We’re fed up) that exerted great pressure on politicians with its manifestations in the last the presidential election of this country. The result, everyone knows it, the ballot box was respected, but especially the election held without major violence.

More recently Burkina Faso, showed the way to go with the civil organisation called “The citizen broom” that in less than a week made Blaise Compaoré bend when his regime wanted, at all costs, to maintain him on power by twisting the neck of the country’s constitution.

Ivorians need real peace without which no development is possible. It is time for the Ivorian civil society to truly take the bull by the horns, exerting real pressure on politicians to restore peace in our country.

 CSCI is open and available to everyone via email convention@societecivile-csci.org

he election date for October 2015 is fast approaching with large stride. Political parties are active on both sides. Some politicians have already announced their candidacy. Alassane Ouattara, the incumbent president has already been invested by his party the RDR, to run for a second term. The struggle for the…

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