Police were on Monday deployed in parts of Abidjan District to prevent protests against the candidacy of Alassane Ouattara for a third term in the upcoming presidential election of October 31.Several units of the national police were stationed around the main arteries of the District of Abidjan to disperse groups of demonstrators, including opposition activists who are rebutting a third term of the incumbent president.
Small businesses, including less protected mobile money points had to close down to prevent possible demonstrations from hindering their activities. A certain psychosis had taken hold of a few individuals who were taking precautions.
The day after the announcement of his candidacy, opposition leaders claimed a violation of the Constitution, because for them Ouatara could not serve three consecutive terms according to the Constitution, which limits presidential terms to two.
The presidential camp, for its part, maintained that the 2016 Constitution, amended following a referendum, enshrined another Republic and sets the counter at zero, giving Mr. Ouattara the right to serve a third term.
In an address on the eve of the 60th anniversary of Cote d’Ivoire’s independence, Mr. Ouattara said he was reconsidering his position not to run for another term, announcing his candidacy to answer the people’s call.
“I am therefore a candidate in the presidential election of October 31, 2020, I can assure you that this well-considered decision is a duty I accept in the best interest of the nation to continue to put my experience tirelessly at the service of our country,” Ouattara said.
For him, this decision represents “a true sacrifice” that he fully assumes out of love for his country. Ouattara said he is acting in a constitutional vacuum that allows him to run for a third term as president.
Mr. Ouattara, who had planned a life after the presidency, is seeking a third term following the death of his runner-up, Gon Coulibaly, candidate of the Houphouétistes Rally for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) who died on July 8, 2020 following a heart attack.