Election date – for real this time?

The Ivorian government has announced it will hold a long-overdue presidential election on 29 November – one year after the latest of several election deadlines came and went. Prime Minister Guillaume Soro has called the new date “realistic”, vowing that disarmament and voter registration will be completed in time.

Ivorians told IRIN the date must be respected this time around, but many remain sceptical.

Alphonse Djédjé Mady, secretary general of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI): “It is a positive step to have set a date. Now, we want the date to be respected. We pushed for an election date and now everyone must accept this choice.”

M’bra Léon, with Youth Forum for Democracy in Africa: “Our main expectation has been fulfilled. Our principal concern now will be that everyone respects the date, but moreover the election must be carried out openly and fairly.”

Binta Keïta, sociology student at University of Cocody in the capital Abidjan: “The wait has been long; we needed to know when elections would finally take place. The country’s situation is worrying from day to day, and if it is elections that will bring an end to the suffering then let’s go to elections.”

Souleymane Doumbia, shopkeeper in Abidjan: “I have never trusted politicians. It is the day I will be at the polling station that I will say elections are happening. I have nothing else to say about this new election date because there is no telling it will be the last.”