Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara says he would seek re-election in October, formally accepting the ruling party’s nomination to be its candidate and defying opponents who say the constitution forbids a third term.
Ouattara, who has governed since 2011, said in March he would not run again. But his preferred successor, then-prime minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, died in July, leading the party to ask Ouattara to reconsider.
President Alassane Ouattara
The election is seen as the greatest test yet of the tenuous stability achieved since a brief civil war in 2010 and 2011 killed about 3,000 people following Ouattara’s election.
“I have decided to respond favorably to the call of my fellow citizens,” Ouattara said in a televised speech. “Given my previous promise, this decision represents a real sacrifice for me.”
His opponents say the two-term limit in the constitution bars him from running again, but Ouattara has said his first two terms do not count because the new constitution was not adopted until 2016.