Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire were for some years considered the democratic model states in West Africa, but now the two Compact with Africa countries are facing serious political crises. In Guinea, President Alpha Condé had the constitution amended this year to allow for a third term in office. According to official figures, he won the mid-October elections with 59.5%, but the opposition is challenging the result. More than ten people have already died in protests following violent clashes with the state apparatus.
Violence is also feared in Côte d’Ivoire, where President Alassane Ouattara, contrary to the Constitution, is running for a third term in the elections at the end of October and is being challenged by long-term rival and former President Henri Bédié, who is threatening to boycott the elections in a toxic political climate.
The coup in Mali, in which the military recently drove the old guard out of their government offices to the cheers of many young supporters, also seems to prove that the disregard for constitutional principles could become acceptable again.
Are the old ghosts of constitutional breaches and coups in West Africa returning? What will happen after the elections in Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire? What does the coup in Mali mean for the country and the region? And what influence do these developments have on the countries’ relations with Germany?
These and other questions were at the core of the online discussion to which the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the German Africa Foundation invited.
Katrin Bannach, Head of Division Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Friedrich Naumann Foundation
Hervé Gogo LL.M., Judge (on leave) in Côte d’Ivoire with longstanding activities for the United Nations
Dr forest Christoph Hoffmann MP, Development Policy Spokesman of the FDP
Florent Kossivi Tiassou, Journalist, Deutsche Welle
Sabine Odhiambo, Deputy Secretary General, German Africa Foundation