Catholic Bishops in Ivory Coast Urge Stakeholders to Work towards Social Cohesion in 2025 Elections

Members of the Episcopal Conference of Ivory Coast (CECCI). Credit: CECCI

Catholic Bishops in Ivory Coast are calling on all stakeholders involved in the electoral process in the West African nation to ensure that the 2025 elections leave the country more united.

Ivory Coast is expected to hold Presidential elections in October 2025. President Alassane Ouattara, who was re-elected in 2020 has not yet said whether he will be in the presidential race again. Former leader, Laurent Gbagbo has agreed to fly his party's flag as presidential candidate in the 2025 elections.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa on Thursday, June 6, members of the Episcopal Conference of Ivory Coast (CECCI) charged everyone involved in the preparations for the country’s general elections to guarantee fair, transparent, and peaceful elections.

“How can we ensure that this election is an instrument of peace, social cohesion, and living together?” the Bishops posed. “What is the point of repeating at length that life is sacred if the elections that punctuate socio-political life in our country mark a period of serious disturbance for life?” CECCI members further posed in the statement they issued on June 2 at the end of their 125th Plenary Assembly in the Catholic Diocese of Yopougon.

In their statement, Catholic Bishops in Ivory Coast conveyed the concerns and questions of Ivorian society as the electoral year approaches, calling on the government, political parties, religious leaders, and the media “to act on all the levers that guarantee fair, transparent, credible, inclusive and peaceful elections.”


CECCI members further said, “These elections must be seen as “an instrument of peace, social cohesion and living together to help Ivory Coast which has experienced multiple electoral crises, to once again become the haven of peace that was once the pride of the West African sub-region.”

In their collective statement, Catholic Bishops in Ivory Coast also expressed concern about the high cost of living in the West African nation.

“We remain very sensitive to the issue of the high cost of living, with soaring prices of basic necessities and electricity,” CECCI members said.

They invited the Ivorian government to “listen to the clamor of the people and to do its utmost to find a lasting solution to this problem.”

In the statement following their May 28-June 2 Plenary Assembly, Catholic Bishops in Ivory Coast lauded the progress made by various Diocese in the country.

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They congratulated the various Church leaders for the sacrifices they have made in carrying out their different responsibilities, particularly those working in the various formation houses.

CECCI members invited them to double their efforts in accompanying their young brothers “with greater fraternity and rigor, so that they can discern the Lord's call.”

The Catholic Bishops also announced the start of the procedure for the erection of the major theological seminaries of Anyama, Holy Heart of Mary, and Our Lady of Lourdes Guéssio, into ecclesiastical institutes of higher studies from the start of the academic year 2024-2025. 

For the care of diocesan clergy, CECCI members announced the creation of a national equalization scheme, bringing together all Mass offerings to enable all Priests to receive an equitable monthly Mass fee.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.