Ivorian president Ouattara to run for third term


Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara has said he will run for a third term in October’s general elections.

The president was last week nominated by his party and said he would announce his decision later.

The ruling party’s previous presidential nominee, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, died of a heart attack on 8 July.

“I am a candidate in the presidential election of October 31,” Mr Ouattara told public broadcaster RTI.

“I have decided to respond favourably to the call of my fellow citizens,” he said.

The president’s decision is likely to spark criticism as the country has a two-term presidential limit.

He has previously argued that a constitutional change in 2016 reset the clock and that his first term did not count.

The opposition party Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) has called the decision “deplorable”, according to Reuters news agency.

The party;s spokesperson Issiaka Sangare said “Ivory Coast could have given another signal that would have allowed democracy to continue,” the agency reports.

FPI is the party of Ivory Coast’s former President Laurent Gbagbo. On Saturday, it named his one-time Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan as its candidate, ending speculation that Mr Gbagbo might return from abroad to vie.