Côte d’Ivoire: Pascal Affi N’Guessan is released under judicial supervision

The Ivorian opponent Pascal Affi N’Guessan is free this Wednesday evening, but placed under judicial supervision. He was arrested on 7 November, while fleeing the justice system which had launched proceedings against him following the presidential election of 31 October.
After two months of detention in a secret location for security reasons according to the authorities, Pascal Affi N’Guessan will be able to return home. The president of the FPI had been arrested in early November, a few days after the presidential election, near the town of Akoupé, 140 kilometres from Abidjan. He was trying to reach his stronghold of Bongouanou. He was wanted on charges of attacks and conspiracy against state authority in particular.
The leader of the FPI, also spokesman for the opposition coalition, was arrested following the creation by opponents of power of a National Transitional Council (CNT) to protest against the re-election of President Alassane Ouattara to a third term. This initiative had been deemed insurgent by the government, which had identified the CNT as a parallel and illegal government.
With the release of Pascal Affi N’Guessan, the Ivorian political climate seems to be returning to normal. The president of the FPi and spokesman of the coalition of opposition parties was able to return home after his hearing before an examining magistrate, who keeps him under judicial supervision, with the obligation to check in at his office every month. Some 30 charges are still pending against him.
Just out, he posted a tweet, in which he thanks “all the democrats who have mobilized for his release, for the cause of democracy in Côte d’Ivoire.’’
The Secretary General of the FPI, Issiaka Sangaré, welcomed the release as “the beginning of the beginning towards political appeasement”. This appeasement was triggered on 21 December by a dialogue between the government and opposition forces that ended on Tuesday, 29 December.
There is still an unknown with the continuing legal proceedings against Pascal Affi N’Guessan. The spokesman of the FPI-legal contacted by phone explains that the party does not yet know to what extent Pascal Affi N’Guessan will be free to carry out his political activities while the legislative has just been set for 6 March 2020.
The decree concerning these elections was adopted at midday after the Council of Ministers and the day after the end of the political dialogue between the government and opposition parties. According to the Prime Minister, Hamed Bakayoko, this date has been the subject of a broad consensus between the parties and goes in the direction of political appeasement. The FPI, as well as the branch loyal to former President Laurent Gbagbo, have already confirmed their participation.
On the eve of the New Year, Head of State Alassane Ouattara could make additional announcements during his annual address to the nation. In the Council of Ministers, the president has already stated that he would resume bilateral dialogue with his best enemy and opposition leader Henri Konan Bédié in the second half of January.

About Geraldine Boechat 1538 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia