(Ecofin Agency) - During a joint session yesterday March 17, the two Houses of the Ivorian Parliament approved the draft revision of the constitution. This first revision of the new constitution voted through a referendum in 2016 involves three major changes in the executive, legislative and judicial powers.
Concerning the executive power, this revision abolishes the slate vote for the election of the President of the Republic. Thus, the Vice-President of the Republic is no longer elected at the same time as the President but appointed by the latter in agreement with Parliament.
For the legislative power, reforms guarantee the institutional continuity of the Parliament if it is impossible to hold parliamentary elections. In such an eventuality, Parliament remains in office until new parliamentary elections are held.
Reforms at the judiciary level establish the Court of Cassation and the Council of State as institutions of the Republic, in the same way as the Court of Audit. Thus, the Court of Cassation, the Council of State and the Court of Audit are the three judicial institutions representing the judiciary. The consequence of this reform is that the Supreme Court will no longer exist.
In addition to these institutional reforms, this revision makes other changes relating to the adjustment, the correction of omissions in the text and the clarification or reformulation of certain provisions. These include, in particular, the operating relationship between the Senate and the National Assembly, which from now on will successively receive bills or proposals for the adoption of an identical text.
This constitutional revision was not accepted by the opposition parliamentary groups. In a public statement, these groups pointed out that, given the scope of the changes made to the text, it is in fact “a new Constitution and not a constitutional revision,” calling for a referendum.
Accusing President Alassane Ouattara, whose government took the initiative for this revision, the opposition parliamentarians considered that by “opting for the parliamentary route, the President of the Republic has chosen passage en force. As proof, the major procedure laid down by the Constitution has not been respected.”
The presidential election in Côte d'Ivoire is scheduled for October 2020.