The President of Ivory Coast Alassane Ouattara has announced that he will not be running for a third term in office in the October 2020 presidential elections as he is respecting his commitments.
He made this announcement while speaking to the 352 parliamentarians gathered in Congress in the amphitheatre of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation in Yamoussoukro. In his words: “Throughout my career, I have always attached particular importance to honouring my commitments. Consequently, I have decided not to be a candidate in 2020. It has been an honour to serve my country.”
He subsequently posted on Twitter saying: “I would like to solemnly announce that I have decided not to be a candidate in the presidential election of 31 October 2020 and to transfer power to a younger generation”.
Alassane Ouattara Stepping Down a Lesson for African presidents?
A lot of people have commented on Alassane Ouattara’s decision to step down. Adama Bictogo, executive director of the Rally of the Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP), the presidential party, said, Alassane’s stepping down shows him as a great man and a man of honour. Especially now that he has everything to stay in power. This is a lesson for all African presidents and former presidents.
Mamadou Touré, the deputy government spokesman, said, “We have all been taken by surprise. We didn’t know that it would be announced today. It is a decision that we welcomed with great emotion, which poses the RHDP the challenge of unity and cohesion to win its elections and perpetuate the work of President Ouattara.”
Anne Ouloto, Minister of Health, Environment and Sustainable Development, stated, “The President emphasized national unity and reconciliation, peace building. He acted with great responsibility. This is a great lesson that he is giving to the political class.”
Major Reason Ouattara Stepped Down.
Alassane Ouattara was first elected in 2010 and then re-elected in 2015. Ouattara has long left it in doubt as to whether he would be a candidate for a third term.
However, last December, during a state visit to the Hambol, he declared that he does not wish to be a candidate. He said he believes that after two terms in office, the hand must be passed on.
He cited age as being a factor saying he will be 78 years old in 2020. “What you can do at 68, you can no longer do at 78, let alone 85 or 86. From that point on, I think it is better that all those of my generation decide for themselves not to run for office.”
Ouattara also pointed out, without naming them by name, the possible candidacies of the two former presidents, Laurent Gbagbo and Henri Konan Bédié.
“If they decide to run for the presidential election, given their track record, their inability to manage Cote D’Ivoire, I will find another solution, including that of continuing,” he affirmed.
Revision of the Constitution
Just before announcing he would not be a candidate, Ouattara gave some information on the revision of the Constitution, the draft of which will be adopted Friday in the Council of Ministers.
The Head of State has decided to abolish the presidential “ticket”. The Vice-President will thus be appointed by the elected Head of State, with the agreement of Parliament.
Another change is the term of office of parliamentarians which will be extended in the event that elections cannot be held on time.
Finally, the new text will enshrine the Court of Cassation and the Council of State as institutions of the Republic in the same way as the Court of Audit. The Supreme Court is also abolished.