The move deepens a crisis that erupted in August when Ouattara said he would run again, to the fury of the opposition who called it a constitutional breach and an "electoral coup" in the West African country.
"The opposition parties and groups announce the creation of a council of national transition," Pascal Affi N'Guessan told reporters. "This council's mission will be to create a transitional government within the next few hours."
"The national transition council's mission will be to prepare the framework for a fair, transparent and inclusive presidential election," N'Guessan said.
"Keeping Mr Ouattara as head of state could lead to civil war," he added.
The man in charge is Henri Konan Bédié
Born in Dadiekro near Daoukro (Central region) in 1936, the man who now leads the “National Transition Council” of Côte d'Ivoire is also called the sphinx for his ability to stage unprecedented comebacks. At 86, He is now spearheading, what could be his last, for the country he served all his life.
First Ivorian ambassador to the United States and Canada following independence in 1960, from 1966 to 1977 he served in government as Finance minister.
The great silversmith of the “Miracle years”.
Henri Konan Bédié was recalled from Washington in 1966 to take charge of Economic and Financial Affairs, and for eleven years (1966 to 1977) was entrusted with the Ministry of Finance. This was the era known as the "Ivorian miracle": the prices of raw materials such as coffee and cocoa soared and was dubbed the green gold of Côte d'Ivoire.
Henri Konan Bédié multiplied foreign relations on economic and financial issues founded state-owned companies, diversified agricultural production (bananas, pineapples, rubber trees, oil palm, etc.) and undertook major projects such as the second port in San Pedro, a large dam in Kossou.
In Abidjan, prestigious buildings such as the Hotel Ivoire rose from the ground, in addition to infrastructures such as motorways and bridges. For some, Henri Konan Bédié was the father of the "Ivorian miracle”, but humble as ever, the man himself spoke of a long period of growth, prosperity and investment, just as in other countries at the same time anywhere else.
While serving as Finance Minister, Bédié became the first Chairman of the IMF and World Bank's joint Development Committee from 1974 to 1976. He was Special Advisor to the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation from 1978 to 1980.
In 1980, Bédié was elected MP and then elected as President of the National Assembly in December 1980. Re-elected in 1985 and 1990, Bédié succeeded long-time President Felix Houphouet- Boigny On December 7, 1993, a brief power struggle between Bédié and Prime Minister Ouattara ensued; Bédié was successful
and Ouattara resigned. Bédié served as acting president for the balance of Houphouët-Boigny's seventh term. He was overthrown in a military coup on
December 24, 1999.
Upon returning from a brief exile, he joined with his former nemesis into a bitter struggle for power that led to the bloody, but brief post-electoral civil war that saw the transfer of former president Laurent Gbagbo to the ICC, accused of setting the country ablaze, with more than 3000 deaths.
In the later part of their second term in office at the helm of the coalition RHDP, he and Alassane Ouattara rekindled their bitter rivalry, when Ouattara refused to honour the promise to hand over power to the elder statesman.
Bedie is now back in good terms with Gbagbo who was acquitted of war crime at the ICC. "Nzueba" calls his last struggle, a public salvation duty for the country he loves.
Laurent Gbagbo, Soro Guillaume, Charles Blé Goudé and Tidjane Thiam are rumoured to join him into what promises to be a tense transition to pacify the world first cocoa producer.
Published on 02/11/2020 @21:35
Claude B Djaquis is Editor-In- Chief of ivorycoasttribune.com