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Henri Konan Bédié faces pressure from all sides

While Henri Konan Bédié received Western ambassadors at his home on 4 November, several West African heads of state offered to mediate. What are the growing pressures being exerted today on the president of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire?

Photo: Henri Konan Bedie, speaks next to Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative and Head of the UN Office for West Africa. Copyright The Africa Report

After the announcement of the formation of a “National Transition Council” chaired by Henri Konan Bédié (HKB), the president of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire’s (PDCI) villa in Cocody was surrounded by police on the afternoon of 3 November. The 86-year-old former president and his wife, Henriette, have been under house arrest ever since, and several of his relatives have been arrested.

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During a press conference on Monday in N'Djamena, Chad at the headquarters of the Transformateurs party of opposition leader Dr Succès Masra, he described the upcoming April 11 election as a masquerade. Accusing the regime of abuse, he presented the media with the remnants of ammunition that were fired by police at the political site.

Despite his earlier promises to govern for only a single term, Benin’s President Patrice Talon is standing for re-election on 11 April and looks to be heading towards victory. Talon’s economic record remains strong and he has sidelined the opposition.

Chadian President Idriss Déby Itno, who has ruled since 1990, is gearing up to take on his sixth mandate as head of state.

It is a crushing victory and an unsurprising one. At the end of the first round of the presidential election held on Sunday 21 March, Denis Sassou Nguesso was re-elected for a fourth term as the head of Congo with 88.57% of the vote, according to provisional results announced on Tuesday by Raymond Zephirin Mboulou, the Minister of Interior. The turnout was 67.55%.

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