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Constitution-making in Côte d’Ivoire
On 30 October 2016, Ivorians will vote on adopting a new draft constitution unveiled only 25 days earlier. Very few citizens have read the text, which a committee of experts drew up and parliament rapidly endorsed. The government maintains that its priority has been to ensure that the new constitution is “consensual” and “impersonal”. This would be novel in a country where the basic law has been shaped by the personal interests of one Frenchman and three Ivorians.
Constitution-making in Côte d’Ivoire has been characterised by subjective notions of national priorities and eligibility for leadership. It has shown a fixation with power and authority. There has never been a meaningful attempt to consult citizens, let alone reach a consensus. In the absence of a coherent or credible opposition, and despite the evident need for national dialogue and reconciliation, Ivorians have been deprived of a serious debate. This is a missed opportunity, but it should not come as a surprise. This Briefing Note situates the 2016 constitutional review in its historical context; and highlights contested features of a new basic law that, although dispensing with exclusionary language, is an elite project.
  • Cote d'Ivoire,
  • Ivory Coast,
  • Constitution
Publication Date
October, 2016
Citation Information
"Constitution-making in Côte d’Ivoire" (2016)
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