Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara announced on Thursday evening that he was running for re-election. The presidential election would take place on October 31, 2020.
“I am a candidate for the presidential election of October 31, 2020,” Mr. Ouattara said during a national broadcast and a tweet.
Ouattara said his decision to seek a third term in office represents “a real sacrifice” for him and “love for his country.”
“Considering the importance I attach to my commitments and to the word given, this decision represents a real sacrifice for me, which I fully assume, out of love for my country,” he said.
“Faced with this case of force majeure and out of civic duty, I decided to respond favorably to the call of my fellow citizens asking me to be a candidate for the presidential election of October 31, 2020. I am therefore a candidate for the presidential election of October 31, 2020.
“This decision, carefully considered, is a duty that I accept in the best interests of the Nation; in order to continue to put my experience tirelessly at the service of our country.
“I am convinced that through the commitment and the work of all the forces of the Nation, in union and peace, we will succeed in building for ourselves and for our children a better Ivory Coast,” he added.
His decision to run comes barely a month after Ivory Coast’s Prime Minister and presidential candidate for the ruling party Amadou Gon Coulibaly died.
He passed away after falling ill at a ministerial meeting. He was 61.
Gon Coulibaly had been chosen as the ruling party’s candidate for October’s presidential election after President Alassane Ouattara said he would not seek a third term in office. President Ouattara said the country was in mourning.
He had only just returned from France where he had received two-months’ heart treatment.
The President said Mr Gon Coulibaly had become unwell during a weekly cabinet meeting and was taken to hospital where he later died.
He had received a heart transplant in 2012 and had travelled to Paris on 2 May 2, 2020, for the insertion of a stent.
His death created huge uncertainty over the election.
When he returned he said: “I am back to take my place by the side of the president, to continue the task of developing and building our country.” But he died before he could fulfill his dream.
Mr. Ouattra linked his decision to run to the passing of Gon Coulibaly. “The recent tragic events, with the death of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, left a void in the team that I had put in place to pursue and consolidate the economic and social development program,” he said.