Campaigning began on Saturday for the legislative elections in the Ivory Coast where some 1,337 candidates are vying for a seat in the 255-member National Assembly.
The ruling Rally of the Republicans party which holds majority of the seats in the National Assembly is looking forward to retaining its majority in the house.
Former president Laurent Gbagbo’s Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) party which boycotted the last legislative elections is fielding 187 candidates with the hope of getting an absolute majority in the legislature.
There is however a breakaway faction of the FPI which maintains it will boycott this election as well.
One of the FPI candidates for the December 18 election, Niamba N’Drin explains the party’s decision to contest the poll is because the National Assembly needs the opposition, “a true opposition”.
On the other hand, he says, there is the need for “power with which the national assembly will function properly.”
Another FPI candidate said it was “quite clear that without the FPI, our parliament is necessarily unbalanced,” hence the need for the party to return to the National Assembly.
For Independent candidate, Yasmina Ouégnin, it is not just a matter of going to the National Assembly, but rather aspirants must enter the race with a purpose and “know whom you work for and why you work”.
“I work for a prosperous Côte d’Ivoire. I work for a Côte d’Ivoire where everyone, irrespective of their social class, will achieve actualization through fair laws, through equitable laws, through laws that unite,” she said.
Some 30,000 security forces will be deployed to provide security for the December 18 poll.