After more than a decade as allies, two of Ivory Coast’s largest political parties face off in local elections on Saturday (October 13) after a recent split that is making Ivorians nervous ahead of a presidential poll in 2020.
The union that took place in 2005 between President Alassane Ouattara’s RDR and former President Henri Konan Bedie’s PDCI was meant to last and help heal the political wounds that led to civil war in 2003.
Now, both the RDR (Rassemblement des Republicains) and PDCI (Parti Democratique de la Cote d’Ivoire) are casting Saturday’s local elections as a test of strength heading into 2020.
Ouattara’s supporters have accused the PDCI of reverting to the tribal politics of the country’s bloody past. The PDCI says Ouattara’s government is drifting toward authoritarianism.