Democratization and Constitutional law in Ivory Coast

After the collapse of the authoritarian and totalitarian political system that followed the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, studies have been undertaken in post-colonial states in order to understand how they work. The survey research revealed that most of African newly independent states inherited democratic system. Indeed, from 1945 to 1960 elections were scheduled at the National Assembly of Paris (France) as far as French colonies are concerned. In this regards, in spite of the criticism that one could formulate against colonial rule it is good to recognize that it granted parliamentary democracy to most of African states. Unfortunately in the mid- 1960s the so called ”fathers” of the independences progressively abandoned democratic systems and forged a single party system. The monopartyism establish at the end of colonial rule was analyzed by its promoters as the way to consolidate national unity and social stability. But actually according some political scientists it was an empty shell and the one- party system was viewed as a mean of power privatization. Criticizing the monopartyism an Ivoirian intellectual Ouraga Obou writes”sous l’empire du parti unique en Côte d’Ivoire les elections s’analysent en d’excellents exutoirres de la democratie aux fins d’assurer le triomphe de l’autorité ascendante et infragible”. Indeed, Ouraga Obou believes that the elections scheduled under the single party system empire were meaningless and they were organized just to celebrate heads of states. In that perspective it is good to underline that the article 7 on the Ivorian constitution since 1960 recognizes multipartyism, but the Houphouet Boigny regime refused the implementation of that important democratic principle. However, we all know that a constitution is based on the will of people and it is a kind social contract between the people a given society.

The Constitution is the document that garantees people rights and the state leaders has the duty of its implementation and preservation. The Constitution as mirror of any society underpins the idea of identity and nationality for it’s the fodamental law that caracterizes and distinguishes people and societies. The french philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau states that the obeydience to the law we have prescribed ourselves is freedom. Unfortunately, often some head of states refuse to obey the fondamental law. They manipulate constitutions for personal interests, regardless to citizens aspirations. This phemenon known as the ”constitutions à géometrie variable” is propering in african states threating thus democratization process. The question to be asked is how could african states achieve democracy without credible constitutional law? How could they build strong states, strong instutions without rule of law?.

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