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Côte d'Ivoire: Reopening of Parliament Sparks Buzz Across Web

The second parliamentary term of the second republic of the Ivory Coast opened on Wednesday 25 April, 2012, in Yamoussoukro. Through this event, Guillaume Soro, former prime minister and president of the Ivory Coast National Assembly since 12 March, wanted to highlight a break with past unrest.

For Ouassénan Koné (president of the Ivory Coast Democratic Party parliamentary group), the opening is a milestone [fr] :

Cette session ordinaire marque le retour irrémédiable à la normalité institutionnelle après des élections de sortie de crise douloureuses qu’a connues le pays

This ordinary session marks a return once and for all to institutional normality after the country's painful post-crisis elections.
Guillaume Soro, president of the National Assembly, by Zenman on Wikpedia CC-license-BY

Guillaume Soro, president of the National Assembly, by Zenman on Wikpedia CC-license-BY

For Guillaume Soro, the event is of utmost importance. He will therefore be contributing by relaying information on all the preparatory stages on his blog [fr] and profiles on various social networks.

Through his own online presence  on social networks (@SorokGuillaume [fr] on Twitter, Soro Guillaume Kigbafori [fr] on Facebook and Kigbafori  Guillaume Soro [fr] on LinkedIn), the president of the Ivory Coast's National Assembly and his communications service [fr] have created a buzz around the opening session of the parliament.

A special webcast was set up to broadcast the ceremony and extraordinary session live on the internet, as Guillaume Soro himself explains on Twitter [fr]:

@sorokguillaume : Pour suivre la session extraordinaire en direct http://www.livestream.com/anci2012http://fb.me/1yZ8t7noU

@sorokguillaume : To follow the extraordinary session as it happens http://www.livestream.com/anci2012http://fb.me/1yZ8t7noU

A specific hashtag  was created to track this session on twitter, as Bamba Moussa explains [fr]:

@Be_hem: Pour ne rien manquer sur la 1e session ordinaire de l'assemblée nationale suivez le tag #soanci et le compte @SC_PANCI cc @MoussaTOURE9

To make sure you don't miss anything from the first ordinary session of the National Assembly, follow the hashtag #soanci [fr] and @SC_PANCI [fr] cc @MoussaTOURE9

There were many bloggers in Abidjan interested in the event who relayed proceedings via posts and photos. Israel Yoroba took stock of preparations in his blog post “Yamoussoukro aux couleurs de la rentrée parlementaire” (Yamoussoukro dressed for the re-opening of parliament) [fr]:

Les grands édifices de la capitale politique sont également parés aux couleurs de cette première rentrée post-crise des députés. L’aéroport international, la Fondation Félix Houphouët Boigny pour la Recherche de la Paix, l’Hôtel Président, l’Hôtel des députés, les grandes artères de la ville. Tous un pris un coup de neuf.

The main buildings in the political capital have also been adorned with the colours of the first post-crisis re-opening of parliament. The international airport, the Félix Houphouët Boigny Foundation pour la Recherche de la Paix, the Hôtel Président, the Hôtel des députés and the city's main roads. Everything has been given a new look.

To give an international dimension to the re-opening of this parliament, the communications service announced that they were expecting several delegations from the sub-region, as described by Louis Konan [fr] on his blog [fr]:

Sauf changement de dernière minute, ce sont environ 25 délégations étrangères de la sous-région et de plusieurs autres pays qui ont confirmé à ce jour leur arrivée. » a-t-il précisé avant d'ajouter ”qu'au moins 3 chefs d'Etat de la sous-région ont annoncé leur participation.”

“Providing there are no last-minute changes, around 25 delegations from overseas and the sub-region have so far confirmed their attendance,” he said. He went on to add, “at least three heads of state from the sub-region have confirmed their participation.”

The ceremony took place on Wednesday 25th April in Yamoussoukro, the political capital of the Ivory Coast, in the presence of numerous delegations, as confirmed in this message [fr] on Twitter by  minister Alain Lobognon [fr]:

@alainlobog: 17 délégations étrangères présentés, à l'occasion de cette 1ère Session ordinaire de la 2ème Législature de la 2ème République de #ci225

@alainlobog: 17 foreign delegations for the first ordinary session of the second term of the Second Republic of #ci225

This first session took place in the presence of head of state Alassane Ouattara, who had returned from a 4-day state visit to the west of the country, and some 252 members of the Ivory Coast parliament.

Although the opening of this parliament has been widely discussed both in the Ivory Coast media and online, it has not been discussed to the same extent in the international media, to the regret of one Internet user on Twitter:

@jeanettemallet : The historic re-opening of the National Assembly yesterday was not covered at all in international media #ci225

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