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Ivorians divided over draft constitution

Ivorians divided over draft constitution

Ivory Coast

Ivorians are divided over a draft new constitution expected to prevent any future crisis in the country if adopted and promulgated into law.

President Alassane Ouattara who called for a referendum on the draft constitution later this month faces the country’s parliament on Wednesday to convince them to accept the new constitution.

This, however, proves to be a tall order as the opposition has consistently kicked against the new document and public opinion is equally mixed.

“For me since the constitution is the supreme law, it is not bad if it is changed at a particular time if people decide that it should be revised. I don’t really have any problem with that,” one Ivorian said.

“As I speak now, there are Ivorians abroad and I would have loved that everybody should be there for the full reconciliation before we think of having a new constitution,” another Ivorian in the streets of Abidjan told Africanews.

Among some changes to be made to the existing law is the creation of an office of vice president to act in the absence of the president instead of the speaker of the National Assembly.

Experts have welcomed the decision to create the office of vice president which they say could prevent a crisis in case the president dies or resigns.

“When we take a look at Ivory Coast, like what happened after the death of Houphouet Boigny, the speaker of the Assembly had to take over meanwhile there was a prime minister. We then noticed a constitutional crisis which served as motivation for the crisis that followed,“André Sylver Konan, journalist and political analyst told Africanews.

The adoption procedures at the National Assembly will be followed by the holding of a referendum later this month.