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I.Coast ex-president Bedie calls for 'civil disobedience'

By AFP

Added 20th September 2020 10:22 PM

The opposition has protested not only over the exclusion of candidates but over Ouattara's controversial decision to run for a third term in office.

I.Coast ex-president Bedie calls for 'civil disobedience'

Ivory Coast's former president and PDCI candidate for the October 31, presidential election, Henri Konan Bedie, attends the main opposition parties meeting in Abidjan on September 20, 2020. AFP photo

The opposition has protested not only over the exclusion of candidates but over Ouattara's controversial decision to run for a third term in office.

ELECTIONS|POLITICS|IVORY COAST

ABIDJAN - Tensions over Ivory Coast's presidential race stepped up a gear Sunday when former president Konan Bedie called for "civil disobedience" in response to Alassane Ouattara's bid for a third term.

Bedie issued his call against the incumbent in a statement following a meeting of the main opposition parties in Abidjan.

"In the face of abuse of authority, there is only one watchword: civil disobedience," he said in the statement.

"We are here to express our fierce opposition to this violation of the constitution," Bedie added. But there was no call from the opposition for a boycott of the October 31 presidential election.

Bedie, 86, is one of only four politicians still in the running for the presidency after the electoral commission excluded 40 other would-be candidates.

Among those excluded are two leading opposition figures, former president Laurent Gbagbo and former prime minister and onetime rebel leader Guillaume Soro.

The opposition has protested not only over the exclusion of candidates but over Ouattara's controversial decision to run for a third term in office.

In August, 15 people were killed during protests linked to the upcoming election, and the government has imposed a ban on demonstrations until September 30.

Some observers fear a return to the levels of violence that claimed 3,000 lives following the 2010 presidential vote in the West African country.

Ouattara, 78, had said in March that he would not seek a third term but made a U-turn just four months later when his preferred successor, prime minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, died of a heart attack.

The argument behind his bid turns on modifications to the constitution in 2016 which supporters say reset the two-term limits to zero, entitling him to run again.

Violent protests against Ouattara's candidacy left around 15 dead last month, reviving memories of the post-election bloodshed nearly a decade ago.

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