Newly-formed Cote d’Ivoire’s party RACI holds its pre-convention
BY NAMORY DOSSO
Guillaume Soro, who only several weeks ago resigned from his position of speaker of the Ivorian parliament, is laying the foundation for his likely bid for the presidency next year. The Regional Abidjan-Nord cell of his newly-formed party, Rassemblement de la Cote d’Ivoire, RACI, held its pre-convention on 16 March at the Aka Anghui playing field in Abobo PK-18, in Cote d’Ivoire’s main city and economic hub, Abidjan.
The mega gathering, which brought together the highest echelon of the party and its members and friends, focused on the theme “the RACI’s challenge to conquest the power with Guillaume Soro.” It was attended by several officials, including elected ones, with the Honorable Issiaka Soumahoro representing the chairman of the party’s highest authority, the Honorable Soro Kanigui Mamadou. Other notable attendees included the Honorable Tehfour Kone, RACI’s vice president responsible for relations with the political parties and coordinator of the Abidjan autonomous district, and others such as the Honorable Soumahoro Kando, coordinator of the autonomous mountains district; Secretary-General Dr. Herve Coulibaly, and other regional coordinators of the party.
One of the key moments of the pre-convention came with the speech delivered by the Honorable Tehfour Kone. In his address, RACI’s vice president, who is close to the former speaker of the Ivorian parliament, slammed Hamed Bakayoko, the current mayor of Abobo who was his opponent during the highly-contested election of last October to head this important administrative unit of 2 million souls—the most densely-populated locality of the nation.
Tehfour Kone, who felt he was robbed of his victory to become mayor, harshly criticized the current mayor’s management on the basis of his vision that is drastically opposed to that of Bakayoko. For Kone, the recurrent attacks in Abobo these days do not honor the current mayor. He also recalls Bakayoko’s promises to the electorate during the campaign seaon.
“I remember the state minister in charge of defense saying during the campaign: ‘I am the minister in charge of defense; if I am elected mayor of Abobo, you will move around in safely.’ Let me remind him that at Plaque 1 a woman was struck with a machete in her yard, not on the street, by the microbes [criminals].
Kone went on to say:
“There is no reason to become the mayor when one does not know the various neighborhoods of Abobo, how the people are suffering, or how they live. Let me remind him of that.”
Kone also stated that the woman who was attacked was hospitalized. Will these remarks by this man close to Guillaume Soro be heard within the circles of the new mayor of Abobo?
Talking about the educational sector that is disturbed by the teachers’ strike, Tehfour Kone said:
“They spend seven billion francs on a local election [in Abobo], give each RHDP legislator fifteen million francs for a mere election of the speaker of the parliament, and they tell the teachers there is no money.”
Clearly, it was a high-profile political even that draw a large crowd.