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Ex- youth leader indicted at the ICC urges Ivorians to boycott constitutional referendum

Ex- youth leader indicted at the ICC urges Ivorians to boycott constitutional referendum

Ivory Coast

The former leader of the Ivory Coast patriotic youths Charles Blé Goudé has called on all Ivorians to boycott referendum on the draft constitution that is scheduled to take place this Sunday.

Blé Goudé who is facing charges of crime against humanity at the International Criminal Court alongside former president Laurent Gbagbo said this through his lawyer. He claimed that the current regime lead by President Alassane Ouattara wants to impose a monarchy system in the country that will prevent other people from vying for presidency.

Ouattara promised during his re-election campaign last year to remove the constitution’s requirement for presidential candidates to have parents who are both born in Ivory Coast.

The clause has been a sore point in a country that has long attracted immigrants from neighbouring countries and was used by Ouattara’s opponents to bar him from elections, becoming a symbol of exclusion, particularly of northerners like him.

Nationality was at the heart of a crisis that began with a 1999 coup and included a 2002-2003 civil war that split Ivory Coast in two for eight years.

Ouattara finally won election in 2010, although his victory sparked a second war that killed more than 3,000 people.

The draft constitution approved by parliament earlier this month softens the controversial nationality clause.

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