Statement by opposition MPs PDCI-RDA, VOX POPULI, RASSEMBLEMENT on today’s plenary, December 1, 2020.
The parliamentary opposition groups in the National Assembly, to have: PDCI-RDA, VOX POPULI, RASSEMBLEMENT, note that the plenary of today, December 1, 2020, is being held in a deleterious socio-political context which does not guarantee the safety of opposition MPs, despite their parliamentary immunity. The following facts bear witness to this:
● The arrest on Tuesday November 3, 2020, of Deputy Maurice KAKOU GUIKAHUE, President of the PDCI-RDA Parliamentary group, former Minister of the Republic;
● The arrest, on November 6, 2020, of Mr. AFFI N’GUESSAN Pascal, also Member of the National Assembly, also former Premier of the Ivorian Popular Front
These two personalities were placed under arrest warrant, in flagrant violation of their parliamentary immunity and of their statutes of former Minister and Prime Minister who require, by law, specific criminal procedures.
In addition, Deputy Mabri Toikeusse, also a former member of the government, is threatened with arrest. This is the place to recall that on December 23, 2019, opposition MPs, in particular from the Parliamentary Rassemblement group, had been arrested and imprisoned, under the same conditions of absence and respect for their immunity. Among them, to this day, the Deputy Lobognon Alain is still detained and imprisoned.
It is also important to mention the arrest and imprisonment, on November 3, 2020, of Senators SERI BI N’GUESSAN Privat and BASSI KOFFI who were released under judicial supervision, after twenty-two days of detention, in flagrant violation of their parliamentary immunity.
These are facts unprecedented in the functioning of our institution.
Moreover, a correspondence dated November 12, 2020 was sent to the President of the National Assembly by the opposition parliamentary groups to express their concern to him about the lack of security of their members.
The president of the national assembly has not seen fit to follow up on this correspondence to date. Also, the Parliamentary Groups of the Opposition to the National Assembly, namely: PDCI-RDA, VOX, POPULI, RASSEMBLEMENT seize the opportunity of this plenary, to:
● Denounce these arbitrary arrests;
● Demand the immediate release of detained MPs and the end of the prosecution.
In view of all the above, and while awaiting the release of their members and the cessation of legal proceedings against them, the Parliamentary Groups of the opposition in the National Assembly, namely: PDCI- RDA, VOX POPULI, RASSEMBLEMENT Refrain from participating in the work of this plenary.
Done in Abidjan, December 1, 2020
Opposition Parliamentary Groups:
PDCI-RDA, VOX POPULI, GATHERING.