US urges Ivorian gov’t to “probe” deaths in anti-Ouattara demos

The United States has called on the Ivorian government to “fully investigate the deaths related to the recent demonstrations,” following…

The United States has called on the Ivorian government to “fully investigate the deaths related to the recent demonstrations,” following the popular protests against Alassane Ouattara’s “third term.”“We call on the government to fully investigate the deaths associated with the recent protests, and make public the results of such investigations,” said a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Cote d’Ivoire sent to APA Tuesday.

The United States of America remains committed to supporting free, transparent and inclusive elections in Cote d’Ivoire, says the statement, which calls on all political parties to adhere to the rule of law, and the Ivorian authorities to “ensure fair judicial processes.”

People, at the call of a civil society organization, demonstrated on August 13, 2020, followed by a march of opposition women on August 21, 2020, across the country to denounce a “third term” for Mr. Ouattara, which they consider “unconstitutional.”

The march of opposition women, held on Friday despite a ban on public demonstrations until September 15, 2020, led to clashes and arrests in parts of the country.

“Repression and intimidation have no place in democracy,” according to the United States, which “urges all parties, groups and individuals to refrain from violence and hate or divisive speech, and to favor dialogue, in order to find peaceful solutions to their disagreements.”

The U.S. State further urges “security forces to respect and safeguard the rights of all citizens, including the right to participate in peaceful protests,” as freedom of expression, assembly and association are at the heart of a living democracy.

For the United States, the landmark upcoming elections are opportunities for Cote d’Ivoire to continue its peaceful path to prosperity. It is up to the Ivorian people to decide the future and the leadership they want for their country.  

“The Constitutional Council of Cote d’Ivoire will decide on the so-called “third term” issue, the US government says, insisting that “regular democratic power transitions lead to more accountability, stronger institutions, and citizen participation in a more constructive political process.”

“The impartial application of all laws, including those governing freedom of expression, assembly and association, is also essential to a credible electoral process, good governance in general, and the pursuit of post-conflict transition of the country,” the text goes on.

The United States also says it adheres to democratic standards, including freedom of expression and assembly, which allows Ivorians to participate in political dialogues and support any candidate, party or idea of their choice.

Ivorian voters will go to the polls on October 31, 2020 to elect their leader. But, for the opposition, Mr. Ouattara should not run for a “third term,” with regard to legislative continuity, while the presidential side argues that this is Ouattara’s first term in the 3rdRepublic.

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