I am man of the transition [because] of my age and my ideas.… I have one foot in with the elders because I have learned from them, and the other with the young.…The massive entry of young people [into the party] symbolizes the success of continuity.
Laurent Dona Fologo, Fraternité Matin, 19 April 1991
The theme of the Ninth Congress of the PDCI, which opened 1 October 1990 in the president's village of Yamoussoukro, was “renovation and continuity” (Fraternité Hebdo, 4 October 1990). With three thousand activists taking part, it was the most widely attended congress ever held. Earlier that year, the leader of the Parti Démocratique de Côte d'Ivoire, President Félix Houphouët-Boigny (deceased 7 December 1994), had announced an end to one-party rule. The goal of the congress, then, was to revamp the PDCI so that it could compete effectively against the electoral challenge it would now face from opposition parties. Ten commissions were organized to restructure the PDCI and formulate a platform to deal with the political and economic problems plaguing the nation. When the delegates emerged, five days later, the party had been reorganized. Among other things, it now included a broader representation of generations, professions and interest groups in each of the party organs and committees.
Not surprisingly, differences of opinion have emerged within PDCI ranks as to how an open, efficient, “new and improved” party should function. Far from entering this new era of Ivoirian politics as a monolithic entity, as victorious election figures might suggest, the PDCI came rife with tensions between loyal members.