Ivory Coast elections: Voters go to the polls amid opposition boycott

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An Ivory Coast Electoral Commission official holds voting cards during distribution of voting cards ahead of the country"s presidential election that will be held on October 31, 2020 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 21 October 2020.

picture copyrightEPA

picture captionVoting playing cards have been distributed forward of the presidential election

Polls are set to open in Ivory Coast’s controversial presidential election.

At the least 14 folks have been killed since riots broke out in August after President Alassane Ouattara mentioned he would run once more following the sudden loss of life of his most well-liked successor.

The primary opposition candidates, Pascal Affi N’Guessan and Henri Konan Bédié, say it’s unlawful for Mr Ouattara to face for a 3rd time period.

They’re boycotting the vote and have referred to as for civil disobedience.

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What’s it so controversial?

In accordance with the structure, Ivory Coast has a two-term presidential restrict. Mr Ouattara – who has been elected twice – initially mentioned he would stand down.

However, in July, the ruling celebration’s earlier presidential nominee, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, died of a coronary heart assault.

Mr Ouattara subsequently introduced that he would run for president in spite of everything.

His supporters argued {that a} constitutional change in 2016 reset the clock and that his first time period didn’t depend.

His opponents don’t share that view, arguing as an alternative that it’s unlawful for Mr Ouattara to run for a 3rd time period.

What is the background to the strain?

There was a decades-long quarrel between a few of the nation’s main political figures.

In 2010, Laurent Gbagbo, who was president on the time, refused to concede to Mr Ouattara following the election in that yr and this sparked a bitter civil struggle.

Greater than 3,000 folks had been killed within the 5 months of violence.

Mr Gbagbo additionally put himself ahead to face on this yr’s election however the electoral fee blocked him as a result of he had been convicted within the Ivorian courts.

He was one in every of almost 40 potential candidates who had been turned down by the fee.

Who’re the 4 presidential candidates?

  • Alassane Ouattara, 78, an economist. Grew to become president in 2011, serving his second time period after years in opposition.

    Get together: Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP)

  • Henri Konan Bédié, 86, profession politician. Served as president between 1993 and 1999, deposed in coup. Get together: Democratic Get together of Ivory Coast (PCDI)
  • Pascal Affi N’Guessan, 67, profession politician. Served as prime minister between 2000 and 2003 beneath then-President Laurent Gbagbo. Get together: Ivorian Well-liked Entrance (FPI) faction
  • Kouadio Konan Bertin, 51, profession politician, often called KKB, was as soon as youth chief within the former ruling Democratic Get together of Ivory Coast, is now an MP. Impartial candidate

Associated Subjects

  • Ivory Coast

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