Former Ivorian minister Albert Mabri Toikeusse, 58, a former ally of President Alassane Ouattara, declared himself a candidate for the October presidential election in Abidjan on Sunday, claiming to be in “the opposition”.
The Political Bureau of the Union for Democracy and Peace in Côte d’Ivoire (UDPCI), Côte d’Ivoire’s third party, has announced that its president, Abdallah Albert Mabri Toikeusse, will be the party’s candidate for election presidential, in a press release.
“The UDPCI has just chosen its candidate. Thank you for entrusting me with your hope, the hope of the Ivory Coast”, reacted Mr. Toikeusse, former Minister of Higher Education, his last post in the government, after a long ministerial career.
Since 2003, he has successively occupied the portfolios of Health, African Integration and Cooperation, Transport, Planning and Development and Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Toikeusse left the government on May 13. In March, he opposed the appointment of former Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly as the candidate of the Rassemblement des houphouëtistes pour la democratie et la paix (RHDP, ruling party) to run for the succession of President Alassane Ouattara.
The UDPCI has also “officially decided on its outright withdrawal” from the RHDP with which it formed a coalition, now claiming to side with “the opposition”.
The political game was turned upside down in Côte d’Ivoire by the unexpected death in early July of the ruling party’s candidate, Amadou Gon Coulibaly.
On Wednesday, under pressure from his party to run in the October presidential election for a third term, Alassane Ouattara in power since 2011, deferred his decision.
Former President Henri Konan Bédié, 86, was appointed on July 27 with 99.7% of the vote presidential candidate of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI), a former ally of President Ouattara who has become the main movement opposition.
On Saturday, the opponent Pascal Affi N’Guessan, 67, former close to former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, declared himself a candidate for the October presidential election, to “close the bloody parenthesis” of the crises that have occurred for two decades in Ivory Coast.
The presidential election promises to be tense in this West African country, ten years after the post-electoral crisis which left more than 3,000 dead.