Despite protests at the weekend by opponents who argued the constitution forbids him to contest the October election, President Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast on Monday submitted an application to run for a third term in office.
No fewer than five people have been killed and over 100 wounded in clashes between protesters and police since Ouattara, who has been in office since 2011, announced his re-election bid earlier this month.
“We will submit to the verdict of our fellow citizens,” Ouattara said outside the Independent Election Commission (CEI) in Abidjan where he filed his application.
“I would like to tell our fellow citizens that I have a vision for our country. A vision of stability, a vision of security, a vision of peace for all Ivorians.”
Ivory Coast’s constitutional court will make the ultimate ruling on his candidacy.
Ouattara’s opponents say the two-term limit in the constitution bars him from running again, but he has said his first two mandates do not count under the new constitution adopted in 2016.
Ouattara said in March he would not run again. But his preferred successor, then-prime minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, died in July, leading his party to ask Ouattara to reconsider.
Over the weekend several shops and a timber truck were torched during ethnic violence between Ouattara supporters and opposition in the southern city of Divo, a cocoa-growing hub, according to images shared on social media.
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