Ivory Coast’s Opposition Unit Against a Third Term for Ouattara
Ivory Coast’s main opposition candidate in next month’s polls called for civil disobedience to stop President Alassane Ouattara from a seeking a third term.
Henri Konan Bedie, 86, told a mass gathering of normally-fractious opposition parties and their supporters Sunday that “faced with this situation, there was only one slogan left: civil disobedience.”
He didn’t specify what that meant, though it could include anything from protests to a full boycott of the election on Oct. 31.
About a dozen people have been killed and scores injured since Ouattara, 78, last month announced he would be running again. He won the approval of the constitutional council on Sept. 14, but his critics maintain Ivorian law only allows two presidential terms. His supporters argue that a new constitution adopted in 2016 reset the clock.
It’s the biggest test of stability for the world’s top cocoa producer since Ouattara took office in 2011, following a violent standoff with former President Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to accept defeat in a presidential vote five months earlier. Gbagbo and Guillaume Soro, ex-speaker of parliament and former rebel leader, are among those who didn’t make the final list of candidates that includes Ouattara, Bedie and two others.