78-yr-old Ivory Coast president says will not run for third term
Ivory Coast president Ouattara

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said on Thursday he would not run in October’s election, ending months of speculation over whether he would seek a third term.

October’s election is a major challenge for the Ivory Coast after its 2010-2011 ballot ended in violence between political rivals that killed 3,000 people.

“I would like to solemnly announce that I will not be a candidate in the October 31, 2020 presidential election and I will transfer power to the younger generation,” Ouattara said in a speech to Congress.

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Ouattara, first elected in 2010 and then re-elected in 2015, had kept Ivorians guessing over his political future, saying last year that he could run again if his traditional rivals were candidates.

Ouattara in 2010-11 ousted the then-president, Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to step down after losing elections in a standoff that triggered violent street clashes.

The 78-year-old Ivory Coast leader had earlier vowed to run for a third term if his predecessors decided to compete in the 2020 election, a vote seen as a major test of stability for the country after two civil wars this century.

Ouattara’s main coalition partner defected in 2018, and his bitter rival, former president Laurent Gbagbo, could return after being acquitted of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

[AFP]

Vanguard News Nigeria.

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