Cote d’Ivoire Opposition Parties Want Presidential Election Postponed

The coalition of opposition parties in Cote d’Ivoire on Saturday called for the postponement of the Oct. 31 presidential elections in the country.

The group then urged Nigeria in particular, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the African Union (AU) to intervene.

Mr Seth Koko, Presidential Candidate of L’ ALTERNATIVE-CI political party, who is also the leader of the coalition in Cote d’Ivoire, made the call at a news conference in Abuja while speaking after after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and ECOWAS in Abuja.

The coalition is made up of the Democratic Party of Ivory Coast, Ivorian Popular Front, Democratic Party of Ivory Coast-African Democratic Rally, Coalition of Political Parties and some civil society groups.

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According to him, is important because of the need to prevent political crisis in the country.

“There is urgent need for implementation of the ECOWAS conflict prevention and resolution on democracy, to avoid violence resulting from President Alassane Ouattara’s bid to contest for a third term.

“The current situation in Cote d’ Iviore poses serious challenge to peace and security in the West African sub-region, therefore, our call for urgent intervention.

“We are saying that there should be no election in Cote d’ Iviore for now; the election should be postponed.

“We call on Nigeria, ECOWAS, and the African Union to mediate in this matter; the election should be postponed and there should be a transitional government,” he said.

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He said a situation where some political elites held on to power even after the expiration of their terms of office negated democratic principles.

Koko said that efforts had been made to meet with President Buhari and ECOWAS leaders to cause them to intervene in the matter to avoid conflicts.

He noted that the Ivorian Constitution did not provide for a third term for a president, hence the need for the international community to wade in and prevent Ouattara from running for a third term.

Koko cited Article 55 of the constitution of Cote d’Ivoire, which opposed a third term bid.

“We also have a supplementary Article 183 of the Ivorian Constitution, which clearly proves that Ouattara has no right to run for the third term,” he said.

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Ouattara was first elected president in 2010 and re-elected in 2015 under the Rally of the Republican (RDR), a liberal party.

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