Former Ivorian prime minister Charles Konan Banny drops out of the presidential race
BY JIBRIL TURE
In a news conference held on Friday, former Ivorian prime minister and candidate of the broad National Coalition for Change, CNC, said he was pulling out of the October 25 presidential election: “Having fought all the way to get our leaders to spare Cote d’Ivoire renewed suffering and frustration, I have decided to no longer participate, from this moment, in the iniquitous process imposed on you,” he told voters yesterday.
Prior to this announcement, the former prime minister’s spokesperson, Sran Kouassi, told the press on Thursday that Banny’s emissaries had delivered proofs of their allegations of irregularities to the office of the Independent Electoral Commission: “We just provided a series of proofs of duplicates on the electoral list,” Kouassi said, adding:
“On top of that first list, candidate Charles Konan Banny pointed out a number of irregularities on that very list and about minors that have registered on it.”
The former candidate’s spokesperson went on to say:
“The list has the names of registered people who are not yet born, because their years of birth range from 2020, 2023 to 2026, etc.”
Banny is the third opposition candidate to drop out of the race, after former foreign minister Amara Essy and former speaker of the parliament under ex-President Gbagbo, Mamadou Koulibaly, all of whom had denounced what they term plans to rig the upcoming election. Both Charles Konan Banny and Amara Essy were members of former President Henri Konan Bedie’s Democratic Party of Cote d’Ivoire, PDCI. Banny had vigorously rejected Bedie’s so-called “the Call of Daoukro” asking his party members to support incumbent president Alassane Ouattara’s candidacy.
Members of President Ouattara’s campaign wasted no time to fire back after Banny’s announcement to drop out. “Mr. Banny has given no serious reason to call into question the electoral process or its transparency,” lashed out Mamadou Toure, one of the president’s spokespersons in an interview with Jeune Afrique, an African weekly magazine based in Paris. The publication also quotes Mr. Toure as saying:
“Throughout his campaign, the former minister has proven unable to equip himself with a staff and a solid and coherent program in order to propose a credible alternative to Alassane Ouattara. He is dropping out simply to avoid having an embarrasing score for an election he has lost in advance.”
Former prime minister Charles Konan Banny (formerly a long-time friend of President Ouattara), was appointed as interim governor of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) on December 4, 1990 to replace then-governor Alassane Ouattara upon the latter’s appointment as prime minister of Cote d’Ivoire by the late president Houphouet-Boigny. Banny was confirmed governor as of January 1, 1994. He served several consecutive terms until he assumed the position of Cote d’Ivoire’s prime minister on December 5, 2005, serving for two years. He later headed the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission aimed at healing the wounds from Cote d’Ivoire’s turbulent—sometimes violent—history after the death of the founding father, Felix Houphouet-Boigny, on December 7, 1993.