Pascal Affi N’Guessan, former Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire (October 27, 2000 – February 10, 2003), President of the Ivorian Popular Front and Member of Parliament for Bongouanou-Sous-Préfecture, is in Lyon, France, to participate in a meeting of the International Association of Francophone Regions.
Invited to this General Assembly as a regional deputy, he tells us more about the missions of the AIRF for Côte d’Ivoire as well as the news of his political party in full mutation.
Pascale-Mahé Keingna: You responded to the invitation of Laurent Wauquiez, president of the AIRF, what are the concrete missions of the International Association of French-speaking Regions for Côte d’Ivoire today?
Pascal Affi N’Guessan: I responded to this invitation as president of the Moronou region. This organization brings together a group of French-speaking regions. It is a platform for experiences, pooling of resources and reflection on the future and cooperation of French-speaking countries in Africa and elsewhere …
Currently, for example, a contract has been signed between the Ministry of Hydraulics in Côte d’Ivoire and the region to finance support for the policy of hydraulics in Côte d’Ivoire, including the establishment of a network of observation of the flow of rivers. With global warming, it is always necessary to anticipate, to have statistics on the evolution of water flow so as to be able to plan the implementation of infrastructures, collection, production and distribution of water.
– I imagine that these issues are part of the subjects that are important to you as a Member of Parliament. You chose to boycott the presidential election for which you were a candidate in December 2020, and then you finally participated in the legislative elections by joining forces with other opposition parties. What about this alliance today?
It is an alliance that was built in haste, we had concluded a circumstantial alliance, with the UDPCI, the COJEP, the platform AGIR so as to try to go together but it was improvisation and we could not get the results we expected.
– Do you understand that it can be difficult for Ivorians to follow what is going on with these comings and goings and alliances that are being undone?
No, it is a matter of political cartography, because Ivorians are scattered among the different political parties, that the configuration is such as it is. The political parties are led to gather and try to conclude alliances, and as these alliances are more electoral than ideological, they are undone according to the circumstances and the interests of each other.
An alliance can be ideological, that is to say “we share common values and we put ourselves together to build an alternative”, at this moment this alliance can be solid because there is at the base the adhesion to the same values and to a political project that we can formulate together.
For the moment in Côte d’Ivoire, this ideological alliance does not yet exist.
– Since 2014, the FPI is divided. Today the former president of the Ivorian People’s Front, former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo has acted on this separation by announcing that he will create a new political party. How do you explain this separation?
I think he is in the best position to explain it, personally I do not explain it to myself, because objectively, rationally, I do not understand the logic of this separation. But we have taken note of it, we have turned the page and I am happy because the vast majority of the militants have remained faithful to the party, to the struggle and to the history of the Ivorian Popular Front and are still mobilized so that in 2025 we have a chance to return to power.
– How do you see the future of the FPI?
PAN: The future of the party in any case is not linked to the birth of a political party, our future is linked to our ability to speak to our compatriots. Today we are continuing to consolidate the establishment of our party, and we will check the state of progress on the occasion of the congress that will take place on November 13 (exceptional congress of the FPI), and then we will deploy ourselves to better publicize our social project, to be more attentive to the concerns of Ivorians, to make concrete proposals on how we see the resolution of the problems facing the country.
How we see the issue of national reconciliation, a fundamental issue. A responsible party that has challenges to face and adversities to overcome but that remains committed to the democratic process in peace and stability.