Ivory Coast elections: Timeline since Ouattara's candidacy

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    • Ivory Coast has been in turmoil since President Alassane Ouattara announced his running for a third term, despite opposition claims that doing so violates the constitution.
    • This move led to an eruption of violent acts erupted and few opposing candidates threatening to boycott the elections.
    • This is after president Ouattara seeks to contest for a third term, despite opposition claims that doing so violates the constitution.

    Ivory Coast has been in turmoil after President Alassane Ouattara shook the country by declaring he would run for a third term in the elections on 31 October.

    A timeline:

    Ouattara steps aside

    On 5 March 2020, Ouattara, 78, announces he will not run for a third term in order to make way for "the younger generation". It ends months of speculation over whether he would seek another mandate.

    Coulibaly steps in

    In mid-March, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly is nominated as the ruling RHDP party's candidate.

    He was the president's secretary general from the time Ouattara came to power in 2010 until his appointment as prime minister in 2017.Before that he was a senior civil servant and minister of agriculture. He was also trained in France and, like Ouattara, has a good grasp of international finance.

    Sudden death

    On 8 July, Coulibaly dies unexpectedly from a heart attack, plunging the country into uncertainty.

    Coulibaly died a week after returning to the West African country after a two-month absence for medical treatment for heart problems in France.

    Ouattara will run

    On 6 August, Ouattara finally announces he will seek re-election in October.

    The opposition slam the decision, saying it is against the constitution, which allows two terms, but Ouattara and his supporters argue that a 2016 constitutional tweak reset the clock.

    Ouattara has previously said he would prefer to hand over power to a new generation but later changed his mind

    Protests and violence

    The violence at the University of Abidjan comes after a person was killed on Monday in Bonoua, 60 kilometres from Ivory Coast's main city, while a total of around 20 have died in election-linked violence since August.

    Ouattara's announcement triggers protests that turn violent, leaving around 15 people dead.

    On 22 August, Ouattara is formally chosen by his party to run for a third term.

    Gbagbo and Soro candidates

    On 3 September, former rebel leader turned prime minister Guillaume Soro files his candidacy, and supporters of former president Laurent Gbagbo submit an application in his name.

    The ex-president Henri Konan Bedie, 86, is officially nominated as a candidate for his party on 12 September.

    Validated and rejected

    On 14 September, the country's top court authorises only four candidacies out of 44 applications it received. It validates Ouattara's bid but bars Gbagbo and Soro.

    Boycott call

    On 15 October, Henri Konan Bedie and former prime minister Pascal Affi N'Guessan - two leading opposition candidates - call for an "active boycott" of the electoral process running up to the poll, which they brand "illegal".

    The move by former president Henri Konan Bedie and former premier Pascal Affi N'Guessan injects fresh uncertainty into the race, in which Ouattara is seeking a third term despite opposition claims that doing so violates the constitution.

    Since August, deadly incidents and clashes have left at least 30 dead.


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