While being held this Saturday, October 10 at the Félix-Houphouët-Boigny-Abidjan stadium a large opposition rally, which wants to mobilize in all directions and say “no” to the third term of President Alassane Ouattara, the day before Friday, the Zouglou star group Magic System has declared itself “very worried” three weeks before the presidential election. And the least we can say is that the voice of Magic System, in particular its lead vocal Salif Traoré aka A’salfo, is one of those that matter in this country and well beyond. “We call on President Alassane Ouattara and his main challenger, former President Henri Konan Bédié, to sit at the same table to discuss so that we have peaceful elections on October 31,” told Agence France Presse A’Salfo. For him, “just seeing them together around a table can ease the tension that has gone up a notch, and reassure the people”.
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A concert for “peaceful elections”
The famous group spoke within the framework of a new series of demonstrations which will last a week in partnership with the European Union (EU) to plead in favor of “peaceful elections”, including a giant concert in Yamoussoukro in the center also this Saturday. This will also be the only Magic System concert this year in Ivory Coast, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the group had to postpone its flagship festival, the Festival des musiques urbaine d’Anoumabo (Femua), which every year in April offers concerts of the biggest African stars in various places of Abidjan, attracting tens of thousands of spectators. Anoumabo saw the birth of the group, which organized the first edition of Femua in 2008 to shine the spotlight on this underprivileged district of Abidjan.
A’Salfo to focus on the political situation in his country “the tension is so high that even going to church or to the mosque is interpreted as a political act”, added the one who was appointed ambassador in 2012 of Unesco for “literacy and the culture of peace”.
Only a few months ago, the same artist congratulated Alassane Ouattara for his “historic decision” not to stand for a third term in the presidential election, before the outgoing head of state changed his mind, after the sudden death of his designated dolphin, Amadou Gon Coulibaly. “The choice not to run for the next presidential elections is a historic decision. You have just written one of the most beautiful pages in the history of our country. Building and leaving without warning, that’s what I call Elegance. Thank you for the peace, thank you for the alternation, thank you for the work done, Mr. President ”, reacted the leader of Magic System on social networks.
The first mission of the “UE Magic Tour” caravan, intended to sensitize Ivorian youth to peace, was completed in November 2019 after seven months of tours and 3,000 kilometers traveled through Côte d’Ivoire, from north to north. South. A partnership that has continued while the pandemic has affected the country economically. The group has partnered with the European Union to launch a program to distribute food and preventive equipment against the coronavirus to poor families in Abidjan.
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A rise in tensions in the country
Fear of deadly electoral violence is strong in Côte d’Ivoire, ten years after the 2010-2011 electoral post crisis which left 3,000 dead after President Laurent Gbagbo refused to acknowledge his electoral defeat against Alassane Ouattara.
Around 15 people died in August in violence following the announcement of President Ouattara’s controversial candidacy for a third term.
Elected in 2010, re-elected in 2015, Alassane Ouattara, 78, announced in March that he was giving up running for a third term, before changing his mind in August, after the death of his designated dolphin, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly.
The Ivorian constitution provides for a maximum of two terms, but the Constitutional Council estimated that with the new Constitution of 2016, the counter of the terms of Mr. Ouattara was reset to zero, which the opposition disputes.
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