The first Senate in the political history of Côte d’Ivoire began its first regular session Thursday, on the occasion of a solemn return to the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Foundation for the search for peace in Yamoussoukro.
In his inaugural speech, the Senate Speaker, Jeannot Ahoussou-Kouadio, welcomed Ivory Coast’s entry into bicameralism, “a pledge of political stability”, before reaffirming the will of its “Take full place in Parliament and in the Ivorian legislative framework”.
In front of a parterre of personalities including the Ivorian President, Alassane Ouattara, and selected guests, Jeannot Ahoussou-Kouadio made the commitment to work with his colleagues to affirm the role of their young institution in the strengthening of democracy in the country.
“The Senate does not intend to engage in any claim for a role identical to the National Assembly, we must emphasize the quality of the texts to be produced by avoiding being dragged into the production of a plethora of laws, “Ahoussou-Kouadio said.
All other senators participated in the official installation of their institution pending the appointment of the 33 missing members by President Alassane Ouattara.
During the meeting, the Ivorian Head of State announced that he will proceed “at a later stage” with the appointment of the 33 other senators in order to allow the institution “its full effect” in its functioning.
He praised the installation of the Senate which generates an “institutional change” to enable the country to “strengthen its legislative apparatus and increase its effectiveness”.
“Côte d’Ivoire thus achieves its ambition to build strong institutions, themselves anchored in a Constitution, which contribute to strengthening peace and stability in our country,” he said.
For Alassane Ouattara, the Senate representing local authorities and made up of experienced personalities, from various professional or political backgrounds, recognized for their proven expertise and competence in various fields, is “a high-level reflection framework that can only ‘enrich the young Ivorian democracy’.
He urged senators to “enrich the parliamentary debate” and the Ivorians to lend their support to this institution in order to “help it achieve its objectives for strengthening democracy and development” in Côte d’Ivoire.
According to the Constitution adopted in November 2016, the opening of the ordinary session of the Senate is held seven working days after that of the National Assembly and ends seven working days before the end of the session of the National Assembly. The National Assembly and the Senate meet in congress at the request of the President of the Republic. The president of the National Assembly presides over the congress and is assisted by the president of the Senate who is its vice-president.
The first senatorial elections took place on March 24, 2018.