“Whether I am in Côte d’Ivoire or not, my voice will count”

In an interview with RFI, Charles Blé Goudé recalls the decision rendered Thursday by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the upcoming presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire.

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I am Ivorian. I am here [à La Haye, aux Pays-Bas] for a known reason, of a judicial nature. If the institution which at one time considered that charges were laid against me in relation to a crisis that my country had experienced, and that that institution gives me freedom of movement, my primary destination should be where my umbilical cord has been cut, i.e. in Ivory Coast “Said Charles Blé Goudé.

The ICC’s decision Thursday to ease conditions for Charles Blé Goudé and Laurent Gbagbo’s release allows them to return to Côte d’Ivoire, as they both wish. But it nevertheless requires that the state on whose territory they go agrees to receive them. ” Alas, between the desirable and the possible, there is a hiatus, explains Charles Blé Goudé. It now depends, it is clear, on the will of the authorities of my country. My will is to go home, close to mine, close to the Ivorians, close to my parents, so that I go to bow to the grave of my father, my brothers who died, friends who died while I was not there. Then, of course, take part in the political debate, in the political life of my country because I am a political leader.

Not a presidential candidate

In December 2019, an Abidjan court sentenced Charles Blé Goudé to 20 years in prison in absentia, for “acts of torture, homicide and rape”.

In any case, whether the sentence of 20 years has intervened or not, I would have been even out of elegance, I would have been even out of duty, obliged to speak to the authorities of my country. When you want to go to a village from which you have been absent for more than nine years, elegance and politeness, require that you speak, that you speak with the authorities of that country. When we want to go to a village, we speak with the village chief to say that we are coming. Côte d’Ivoire has changed politically, it has changed socially, behind me it is no longer the same, it is a fact. First I have to speak with the authorities at home, so that I can go home, if they will allow me to.

The decision made by the ICC on Thursday did not change Charles Blé Goudé’s opinion on the presidential election in October 2020. He reminds him that he is not a candidate for this deadline.

In order for me to apply, I have to go back to Côte d’Ivoire and better, I said, I am loyal to Laurent Gbagbo “He said, recalling that he will not commit until the former president has decided whether to run or not. ” My candidacy is not on the agenda. That said, I have a political party. The Cojep [présidé par Charles Blé Goudé] has executives, who will certainly participate in local elections in Ivory Coast. Regarding the presidential election, since President Laurent Gbagbo has not yet made any decision, I will not venture on this ground.

But Charles Blé Goudé adds: ” Whether I am in Côte d’Ivoire or not, my voice will count in the 2020 elections. I am not a candidate, but this election interests me in more ways than one. It’s about choosing the personality who will decide the future of my country for the next five years. To conclude, Charles Blé Goudé invited the Ivorians to register on the electoral lists.

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