Khadija Oum Bachair EL MORABIT, Deputy President of the International Network of Liberal Women (INLW) and the Founder of INLW Morocco Chapter, has participated amongst a group of high-level political representatives from Africa and Europe, including parliamentarians, former government representatives and current political leaders, organised in an independent international observation mission of Democrats and Liberals, part of an International Visitors Programme for the Presidential Elections in Cote d’Ivoire / Ivory Coast from 29 October 2020 to 01 November 2020. Following is her report on the Presidential Elections Ivory Coast 31 October 2020.
Abidjan, the 3rd of November 2020
From the moment of arrival on the 29th of October 2020, Abidjan offered an impression of stability and security in stark comparison to the previous visit in 2012 to attend the 58th Congress of Liberal International. Today Abidjan boosts new bridges and green boulevards, buildings rising up, construction places in various parts of the city and lights of a booming capital where capital has returned.
Over couple of days in Abidjan, during all the visits and tours offer an impression of the development Cote d’Ivoire enjoyed in the last decade since His Excellency Mr Alassane Ouattara first assumed the post of President of Republic in 2011. That covers various fields, including security, infrastructure, water and electricity coverage, economic and social development including women empowerment, female/gender law reforms and youth employability. Also, this emerging country has a lot to offer in terms of direct and indirect investments.
Talking to many Ivoirian citizens at the voting places, most of them explained that they came to the polling stations to accomplish their civic rights and to express their aspirations for stability, peace, and security, urging for a united and peaceful Cote d’Ivoire.
During the presidential Election Day, Cote d’Ivoire has shown to the world full transparency, welcoming all international and national media to witness their country’s electoral process. Despite the call by part of the opposition for an active boycott and civil disobedience, including hate speech and incitement of inter-communal violence, the governing RHDP has responded with a call and commitment for a safe, democratic and responsible political climate, condemning any sort of violence or disorder.
Although, some of the international and national media have focused in their reports mainly on isolated cases of violence, personally I have not witnessed any act of violence or preventing of vote in any of the polling stations that I visited with the International Observation Mission of Liberals and Democrats, on the 31st of October.
On the other hand, during the voting and the vote-counting, I was impressed by the good organization and the professionalism of the electoral offices staff, as well as the patience, the wisdom and the engagement of Ivoirians voters. In addition, the following was noted:
• The use of tablets to scan electoral / ID cards and for digital fingerprints, as an advanced and innovative method that demonstrates credibility and as a model that can be learned and replicated by many democracies in the West or worldwide that are still paper friendly
• The counting of voters’ turnout also by gender (women and men), to have exact statistics of each and to promote gender equality
• The high percentage of female staff at the voting offices
• The presence of law enforcement to guarantee peace and appeasement for voters in all polling stations including GSPR, Police, Gendarmerie, and military
Khadija Oum Bachair EL MORABIT Deputy President, International Network of Liberal Women (INLW)