Thiam Joins Opposition, Voters Remain Very Concerned Ahead of Saturday Polls


October 29, 2020 / 15.00 PM --

With just a few hours before the first round of Côte-d’Ivoire presidential election scheduled for October 31, 2020, the former CEO of Credit Suisse and current administrator at Kering, Tidjane Thiam, has decided to join the ranks of the Ivorian opposition.

The announcement was made on Wednesday by the spokesperson for the Ivorian opposition platforms, Pascal Affi N’guessan, EN24 reported.

“I would like to tell you that for a few weeks we have been in contact with a personality from this country, in this case, our brother Minister Tidjane Thiam. And he instructed me to officially and solemnly announce to the people of Côte d’Ivoire that he has decided to join the opposition and that henceforth he is with us, ” declared Affi N’guessan after a meeting with the delegation of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF), led by its director of political affairs, Antoine Michon.

Thiam has not yet personally confirmed this announcement, which comes just three days before the presidential election on October 31. An electoral deadline whose opposition demands the postponement for the establishment of better organizational conditions, by calling for civil disobedience.

As the election approaches, anxiety is running high

As the election approaches, anxiety is running high. There are overwhelming fears that the presidential elections will have more of a negative impact on Ivorians’ lives for the next three months. From the new survey data released by KASI Insight, people are quite concerned about the elections after the boycott. 

The October 22 survey, revealed that about 49% of the people are very concerned over the election boycott by two main opposition candidates. About 30%, little or have no concern about the electoral boycott, and 21% not at all.

Presidential elections will have more of a negative impact on their lives for the next 3 months, COVID-19 taking a back seat

The poll also sought to gauge events that will impact Ivorians’ lives over the next three months. The majority, 72%, said the presidential election was going to negatively impact their lives, and the majority of them, 58% being men who hold professional qualifications. 18% sighted economic crisis, and COVID -19 seems to have taken a back seat with only 7%, 0,3% think the post-election crisis.

KASI Insight, non-partisan and award-winning consumer research, data analytics, and advisory firm focusing on Africa was tracking voter sentiment after Pascal Affi N'Guessan, a former prime minister, and Henri Konan Bedie, a former president both called for an election boycott on October 15.

Tensions are high after Ouattara announced an ‘unconstitutional’ third term and the UN is concerned about the tense situation

Tensions are running high ahead of the election. In the eye of the storm, stand 78-year-old incumbent, President Alassane Ouattara, who in August 2020 decided to run for a controversial and ‘unconstitutional’ third term. Ouattara, allegedly engineered changes to the constitution so he could stand for re-election under a new constitution approved in 2016. His announcement came after the death of his prime minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly who was supposed to succeed him as a candidate.

Violence has broken out sporadically since Ouattara’s candidacy announcement, a move his opponents say violates the constitution. In all, more than 30 people have died in protests and clashes between rival supporters. The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last week on Thursday voiced concern about the tense situation.

Ouattara accused the opposition of sending supporters to their deaths by carrying out a campaign of civil disobedience. "They have to stop sending young people to their deaths. I don't see why the opposition calls for civil disobedience, which leads to criminal acts," Ouattara told AFP in an interview on Wednesday.

The majority of Ivorian millennial males are very concerned about the boycott

KASI, sourced the opinions of 90 adults, of which 82% are registered voters of which the majority are males.

The majority of those very concerned about the boycott are millennial males, 66%, of which nine-in-10 are eligible to vote. The survey showed relatively a very few Ivorians male millennials – just 5%- of those concerns are eligible to vote in the next presidential election.

The survey revealed that nearly 82% are eligible to vote. 59% are millennials, 63% are males. Of the total polled, 50% confirmed that they intend to cast their vote.

A sizeable number of non-voters intent to vote and could hugely be influential

Of those who intend to vote 9% are non-voters. Most of these non-voters demographically- they are millennials 54%, and they all hold diplomas.

Asked if they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country, 83% said no and only 16% said yes. 17% disagreed that the elections will be free and fair, despite only 1% being concerned about a post-election crisis.

The events happening in the country have stoked fears about a bigger slide into violence. A disputed election a decade ago led to a civil war that killed 3,000 people. In September, France President Emmanuel Macron met Ouattara and failed to persuade him to postpone elections.


About the methodology

Kasi Consumer Confidence Score (Kasi CCI) is a composite index compiled from a seven-question survey that runs monthly via our consumer polls in the countries covered. The data output is based on a fresh, randomly selected representative sample of city dwellers aged 18-64. Released the first week of every month, Kasi CCI provides a focused view on consumer perceptions in seven African urban centers (Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Tanzania) where most spending in the continent is concentrated.

For each question, the final metric will be a ‘balance measure’ of the percentage of positive responses minus the percentage of negative responses. The overall metric will be an average across all the questions.

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