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Ivorian opposition deserts parliamentary session

Opposition groups in the Ivorian National Assembly, in particular the Democratic Party of Cote d’Ivoire (PDCI), Vox Populi and Rassemblement, which demand “the immediate release of their MPs in detention and the end of the legal proceedings” against them, walked out of a plenary session on Tuesday.Not having been able to read their statement before the Parliament during the plenary session, the opposition parliamentary groups, through their spokesperson, Bernard Gose Seple, released their message to the press.

According to Gose Seple, this December 1, 2020 plenary session “is held in a deleterious socio-political context which does not guarantee the safety of the opposition MPs, despite their parliamentary immunity.”

He noted that opposition members of the National Assembly have been arrested and imprisoned, regardless of their immunity.

They include Alain Lobognon, “still detained and imprisoned” and Maurice Kakou Guikahue, president of the PDCI parliamentary group and former Minister of the Republic, arrested on November 3, 2020.

“Pending the release of their members and the cessation of legal proceedings against them, the opposition groups in Parliament have refrained from participating in the discussions of the plenary session,” he said.

Mr. Gose Seple also mentioned the arrest and detention of Senators Seri Bi N’Guessan and Bassi Koffi,” released on probation after 22 days of detention, in flagrant violation of their parliamentary immunity.”

For the opposition in Parliament, these are unprecedented facts in the functioning of the institution. In addition, Mr. Affi N’Guessan, president of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) also a member of the National Assembly, was arrested and locked up.

Guikahue and Affi, he added, were “appointed under a warrant of committal, in flagrant violation of their parliamentary immunity and of their status as former minister and Prime minister who require, by law, specific criminal procedures.” 

“Besides, Mabri Toikeusse, MP and former government member is threatened with arrest,” he explained, denouncing that the National Assembly Speaker “did not consider it useful” to follow up on correspondence from opposition MPs addressed to him.

The parliamentary opposition, which denounces “arbitrary arrests,” also demands “the immediate release of their members and the cessation of the legal proceedings”

Published on 28.04.2020

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