Ivory Coast's Ouattara to run for third term in October election
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said on Thursday he would seek re-election in October, formally accepting the ruling party's nomination to be its candidate and defying opponents who say the constitution forbids a third term.
Ouattara, who has governed since 2011, had won plaudits in March after announcing that he would not seek another term in power.
But his preferred successor, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, died in July, leading the party to ask Ouattara to reconsider that decision.
"I have decided to respond favourably to the call of my fellow citizens," Ouattara said in a televised speech. "Given my previous promise, this decision represents a real sacrifice for me."
The election is seen as the greatest test yet of the tenuous stability achieved since a brief civil war in 2010 and 2011 killed about 3,000 people following Ouattara's first election win.
Ouattara's opponents say the two-term limit in the constitution bars him from running again, but the president has said his first two mandates do not count under the new constitution adopted in 2016.