PDCI-RDA CONGRESS: Chronicle of an implosion announced?

On March 30, 2023, the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire – African Democratic Rally (PDCI-RDA) held its seventh extraordinary congress. A congress which is being held in a context where the party has been shaken for several years, by cascading defections of executives and not the least, like Patrich Achi, current Prime Minister, Jeannot Ahoussou-Kouadio, President of the Senate and more recently Basile Gouali Dodo, former deputy and Narcisse N’Dri, former spokesperson for Bédié, to name but a few. Signs of discomfort within the elephant party who seems to be going through a crisis of old age in connection with the personality of President Henri Konan Bédié, the octogenarian and irremovable president of the party who has posed as a key figure for decades. However, there are many of the long-toothed young guns of the party, who are waiting for the Sphinx of Daoukro stop overshadowing their ambitions to show their intentions. The most impatient ended up taking the plunge, like a Kouadio Konan Bertin known as KKB who was not afraid, in 2020, to shake up habits within the party to be a presidential candidate. of the same year, to the great displeasure of Bédié who had to sanction him, or of a Jean Louis Billon who has already clearly displayed his intentions for the presidential election of 2025.

It is not the ambitions that are lacking within the party of the Elephant

The question that arises is whether, in view of the upcoming presidential election, Henri Konan Bédié will decide to step aside in favor of another personality to run the party’s candidacy. Or if he will present himself, once again, as a natural candidate for the PDCI-RDA. The question is all the more justified as the stakes are high for the oldest party in Côte d’Ivoire, which today seems to be at a decisive turning point in its history. And everything suggests that with the holding of the various preparatory bodies for the upcoming elections, the objective is to strengthen the ties within the party by refocusing around a hard core. But the risks of implosion cannot be ruled out. Because it is not the ambitions that are lacking within the party of the Elephant. This is all the more so as despite the tumults and the jolts of his ship, we see no sign of a desire to change course in President Bédié, even less to pass the baton. On the contrary, by clinging to the helm with all his strength, one has the impression that the very soon nonagenarian captain of the PDCI-RDA wants to confuse his personal history with that of a party that he did not create. . But until when will the young executives of the party agree to continue chomping at the bit until the former President of the Republic is inhabited by the wisdom of mourning his new ambitions to think about the party and make them the place that many of them think they deserve? The fact is that by remaining in control of the party and staying in business, Bédié is not only, voluntarily or involuntarily, obstructing certain ambitions, but he is also mortgaging his party’s chances of reconquering the state power.

The risk is great, to see the bleeding of executives continue at the PDCI

Because, there is no doubt that after having lost power under the conditions that we know, the party founded by Félix Houphouët Boigny never gave up the ambition of one day presiding over the destinies of the Ivorians. But everything suggests that with N’Zueba as a standard bearer, it would be very difficult. Because, apart from his legendary rivalry with President Alassane Dramane Ouattara (ADO), whose RHDP (Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace) has already snapped up many of his executives, and former President Laurent Gbagbo in search of ‘a true political renaissance with his new party, the PPA-CI (African Peoples’ Party-Côte d’Ivoire), at 88, what does Henri Konan Bédié have to offer the Côte d’Ivoire today? Ivoire in general and the PDCI-RDA in particular, that he has not already done? This means that it is time for President Bédié to change the paradigm by thinking of making even more room for the young generation within his party. Otherwise, he will continue to appear to place his personal interests above those of the party. It is not to his credit. Just as it is not to his credit to be heckled regularly by young people from his party, who do not necessarily want to create disorder, but who would be, so to speak, obliged to display their ambitions at the risk to create waves. In any event, if Bédié does not decide in time to let go of the ballast, the risk is great, of seeing the bleeding of executives continue at the PDCI which would lose in the change if, tired of not being able to change things, some were to succumb to the temptation to look elsewhere. It is all the risk of the holding of these statutory bodies which could be the chronicle of an announced implosion.

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