The information concerning the evacuation to Paris of Maurice Kakou Guikahué was given by a party official and a close friend of the number two of the main Ivorian opposition party, the PDCI of Henri Konan Bédié. Prosecuted by the Ivorian justice for “conspiracy against the authority of the State” and imprisoned since early November after the opposition’s attempt to proclaim a transitional regime following the presidential election, Mr. Guikahué, 69 years old , had been transferred on December 11 to a hospital in Abidjan after a heart attack.
All-round confirmation of information
“He was evacuated during the night to Paris by the Air France flight to do analyzes,” PDCI administrative director Djedri N’Goran told AFP, adding that his life was not in danger. The information was confirmed by Mr. Guikahué’s communications advisor, Guy Tressia, but, according to him, it is an “emergency evacuation for intensive care”. A source close to the Ivorian presidency confirmed the evacuation to Paris of the executive secretary of the PDCI for “a check-up because of his heart problems, taken care of by the presidency”. Cardiologist by profession, former Minister of Health in the 1990s, Maurice Kakou Guikahué is the right-hand man of ex-president Henri Konan Bédié, leader of the PDCI and leader of the Ivorian opposition.
An evacuation in a particular political context
The opposition still does not recognize the re-election of President Alassane Ouattara for a controversial third term in the October 31 presidential election, which it boycotted, calling for “civil disobedience”. Several opposition leaders were arrested and jailed in early November after proclaiming a “national transitional council” to replace the Ouattara regime. They are being prosecuted for “conspiracy against the authority of the State”, “insurrectional movement”, “assassination” and “acts of terrorism”, in the context of electoral violence which left 85 dead and half a thousand injured between August and November. The opposition demands the end of the proceedings and their release as a prerequisite for any talks.
After a meeting between MM. Ouattara and Bédié on November 11, which partially eased the tension, negotiations to ease the political situation continue between the government and the opposition, in view of the legislative elections scheduled for the first quarter of 2021. Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko invited the opposition and civil society at a meeting on Monday. Elected in 2010, re-elected in 2015, Mr. Ouattara was reelected in the first round of the presidential election with 94.27% of the vote. The opposition considers this third term unconstitutional, ten years after the post-election crisis of 2010-2011 which left 3,000 dead.