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Text of interview with opposition Rally of Republicans Chairman Alassane Ouattara as published by opposition Ivorian Rally of Republicans (RDR) newspaper Le Patriote on 28 October; no date of interview given
After four days spent in the 18 Montagnes region, the candidate of hope exchanged views with journalists. Alassane Dramane Ouattara, ADO, gave the report of his journey to the press and discussed current national issues. His press interview in detail below.
[Ouattara] I think we have spent these few days well together since Friday. We have toured the 18 Montagnes department, including Man and Kouibly. We also visited Biankouma, Zouan-Hounien and Danane. Personally, I have had a very interesting tour. I saw much enthusiasm, and many people much more than I expected; it was quite a good mobilization.
I must thank the regional director, Francois Guei, and all his associates. The mobilization was impressive. We sent the message across, which you now know very well: Message of peace, pardon, and reconciliation.
We also presented the programme of the candidate, Alassane Dramane Ouattara. I feel therefore, that there was good reception of these proposals for the reconstruction of our country. We therefore end this mission on a note of satisfaction.
We very much appreciate this tour, and I am now available to make clarifications and answer the questions you may wish to ask.
[Unidentified Journalist] To secure your consent to the postponement of the elections, the head of state offered you and your elder, Henri Konan Bedie, FCFA5 billion. What do you say to this information?
[Ouattara] Alassane Ouattara is not buyable. It is clear that I have never had such contact with the head of state. There have never been such issues. I think it is manipulation and brainwashing. I find it unhealthy that they would think that Bedie and I can be bought over to postpone the elections and prolong the sufferings of Ivorians. It is absolutely false and without basis. It is detestable information, without foundation, without proof.
[Unidentified Journalist] When you received the planters in Man, you told them that if the elections do not take place on 29 November, it would be the fault of Laurent Gbagbo who would not want the elections. What proofs do you have to make such an affirmation?
[Ouattara] We consider that it is the fault of the presidential camp because you have on one side the Independent Electoral Commission, [CEI], and on the other, the series of structures which are the offshoots of the ministries close to the head of state.
You therefore have the National Institute of Statistics, [INS], National Identification Office, ONI, and the National Commission for Identification and Supervision, CNSI. You also have the financial issues which come under the direct authority of the head of state.
The delays we have had at a point in time were, according to the CEI, due to lack of the expected resources.
On the contrary, there were the extraordinary and important expenses for the head of state's tours, which cost billions, while the CEI could not get the FCFA5 billion it needed.
We consider this as the responsibility of the head of state. There have been successive delays because of certain structures which depend equally on the ministries belonging to the presidential camp.
The deduction is simple on our part. These are not mere accusation without basis. If the ministries depending on the presidential camp do not do their work, and if the head of state is really interested in going for the elections, he must react.
When I was prime minister and acting president, I used to invite these ministers and tell them to get to work to remove the bottlenecks.
These problems have not been settled. This is why I hold him responsible, because right from when we have the provisional list, all the other structures, which I have mentioned, are no longer concerned.
A provisional voters' list means that the CEI alone is responsible for the process with effect from now. If there is delay, we also hold the CEI responsible.