In the aftermath of the suspension of the 8th Extraordinary Congress of the PDCI, party members raised questions about the timing and implications of this postponement ordered by the judiciary.
On Saturday, nearly 6,300 congress attendees of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire-African Democratic Rally (PDCI-RDA) were slated to elect a new president to succeed Henri Konan Bédié, who passed away on August 1, 2023. However, on the eve of this significant event, two party members filed a legal challenge citing irregularities. The court deemed the complaint admissible and ordered the suspension and postponement of the Congress. Who are these complainants? What will be the PDCI’s course of action?
Beyond the disappointment stemming from the Congress’s suspension, PDCI members continue to question why the two complainants did not initially address the party directly after the publication of the candidate lists. Are these sympathizers being manipulated? If so, by whom?
An Unease Within the PDCI
According to available information, the first party member was not up to date with their contributions and had been suspended from the PDCI at the end of September for supporting the RHDP candidate in the Yopougon municipal elections rather than their own party’s candidate.
The second party member was already included on the list of congress attendees published by the electoral committee. How did the judiciary deem this complaint admissible? Did they ask for their party membership card, wonders a PDCI official, concluding perplexedly: to whose advantage is this postponement?
As of now, there are few definitive answers. However, it is evident that this situation is the outcome of a certain unease, as noted by political analyst Geoffroy-Julien Kouao: “The PDCI operates on two registers: consensus first and pluralistic elections second. Unfortunately, it failed to balance these two registers, leading to a profound division that has, regrettably, attracted the attention of the judiciary.”
Legal counsel for the PDCI is expected to approach the court of referees to provide clarification. Once this legal episode is resolved, a political bureau meeting will need to be convened in the coming days. The objective is to set a new date for the Congress.