Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara haven't spoken since the middle of this year. Although they have always been distant, relations between the two men have now become strained. The former Ivorian president blames his successor for not granting him all the privileges that he was previously promised.
Supporters of the Ivorian National Assembly's former president Guillaume Soro, exiled in Europe since 2019 and sentenced to life imprisonment in June, have been trying to reconcile him with the head of state Alassane Ouattara, with the backing of Congolese president Denis Sassou Nguesso.
Laurent Gbagbo's return to Ivory Coast, which should be the high point of the new open politics policy instituted by Alassane Ouattara following his recent reelection, needs only a telephone call between the two men to become reality.
So far, only a handful of the ECOWAS heads of states invited to Alassane Ouattara's swearing-in ceremony on 14 December have confirmed they will attend. For its part, France will be sending foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to the event.
For the past 15 days the Ivorian president has been in talks with the opposition and after his phone call with Henri Konan Bédié this weekend believes he is the man with the shoulders to carry the negotiations through to the end, mostly likely early next year.
Published 3 November 10h45 - A day before the official results of the presidential election were announced, Emmanuel Macron called Alassane Ouattara, who swept up 94.27% of the votes, to urge him to make a "significant" gesture towards the opposition.
Campaigning for a third term in office, Alassane Ouattara has made great play of the country's economic growth and its respect for the conditions set by the IMF. The economic indicators he is using, however, are still being processed and could turn out less favourable than the Ivorian president imagines.