Alassane Ouattara announced on Thursday that he intends to run for a third term as president of Côte d’Ivoire. This candidacy left some doubt after the death, in early July, of his designated dolphin, former Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly.
President Alassane Ouattara will ultimately be a candidate for a third term in the Ivory Coast. The Ivorian head of state formalized his candidacy on Thursday, August 6, citing a “case of force majeure” and a “civic duty” following the death of his prime minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who would become the party’s candidate.
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“I am a candidate for the presidential election on October 31,” said Alassane Ouattara, who spoke before the 60th anniversary of Côte d’Ivoire’s independence.
“Given the importance I give to my commitments and the word given, this decision represents a real sacrifice for me, which I fully accept, of love for my country,” he added.
Given the importance I place on my commitments and on the word given, this decision represents a real sacrifice for me, which I take fully out of love for my country. pic.twitter.com/uENxjl4iT5
– Alassane Ouattara (@AOuattara_PRCI) August 6, 2020
In March, Alassane Ouattara, who is ending his second term at 76, had nevertheless declared that he wanted to “make room for young people” in the next presidential election on 31 October. Before the Rasemblement des Houphouëtistes pour la democratie et la paix (RHDP), his Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly was introduced as a candidate for the ruling party.
But the unexpected death of the latter at the age of 61 from a heart attack, on July 8, upset this scenario, which seemed well oiled; the RHDP must now find a new candidate, three months before the vote. As soon as the Prime Minister’s funeral was over, several RHDP leaders had taken a public stand in favor of Alassane Ouattara’s candidacy for a third term.
Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara is running for a third term
A debate on the legality of a third term
Alassane Ouattara, elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2015, considered that the constitution “approves” him to use a third term.
The constitution limits the number of presidential terms to two, but according to the interpretation of the government, the adoption of this new basic law in 2016 has restored the counters. According to the opposition, however, he does not have the right to represent himself.
Former President Henri Konan Bédié recently declared that a candidacy by Mr Ouattara “would be illegal”. At the age of 86, he himself is the nominated candidate for the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI), the most important opposition party. The political situation is tense in Côte d’Ivoire after three months