A local journalist proposed an interesting theory during the Ivory Coast’s week without government: a clash between the two coalition partners could have been a way for Ouattara to enforce the creation of an opposition. Laurent Gbabgo’s Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), which was forcibly removed from power in 2011 after it rejected the election results, boycotted the last legislative elections leaving Ouattara’s government without opposition. Some saw this forced dissolution as a Machiavellian move to create a constructive opposition which has been badly lacking in Ivorian politics.
I had a similar reaction after Ahoussou government’s termination: considering Ouattara cannot afford to lose the PDCI support now, was the move aimed at focusing the public debate on politics, as opposed to the post-conflict legal cases?
As the two formations are now getting all the attention, it looks like the FPI might be losing its momentum. Without a strong leader, I would be curious to see how the Front Populaire Ivoirien evolves.
Nonetheless, I am pleasantly surprised that for once, the controversial topic in Cote d’Ivoire does not involve ethnicity or conflict. Hopefully, the political debate and public attention can focus more on the economical and social issues that affect the Ivorian population every day.