The Constitutional Council, the highest court of Cote d’Ivoire, has officially validated the presidential candidacy of incumbent President Alassane Ouattara, who is seeking a controversial third term, eliminating only four of the 44 candidates for the presidential elections on October 31.
Mamadou Koné, president of the Constitutional Council of the Ivory Coast, read the list in a public speech: “The final list of candidates for the election of the President of the Republic to be held on October 31, 2020 is adopted as follows: one . Alassane Ouattara, 2. Affi N’Guessan Pascal, 3. Bédié Konan Aimé Henri, 4. Kouadio Konan Bertin ”.
Ouattara, who has been in power since 2011, had previously vowed not to run again, but changed his mind after the sudden death of his anointed successor, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, from a heart attack in July.
He initially postponed his decision to run for a third term to mourn and pay his respects to the late prime minister, but he eventually submitted his candidacy, which has not been validated by the council.
Their presence in the presidential race is controversial as many Ivorians refer to the constitution that limits presidents to just two terms. However, Ouattara and his supporters argue that a seemingly questionable 2016 constitutional change, and some believe deliberate, reset the clock.
Outside of the list of viable candidates to run for president, rebel leader-turned-prime minister Guillaume Soro, in a self-imposed exile in France, former ally of President Ouattara had his candidacy submitted on his behalf by his supporters, which was initially rejected by the Independent Electoral Commission proclaiming that anyone who committed a misdemeanor or a crime and was stripped of their civil rights could not run for the presidency.