The Côte d'Ivoire political opposition called for a boycott of the upcoming presidential election on Thursday, October 15. The move comes amid controversy over the standing of President Alassana Ouattara in the poll, which is to be held on October 31. Should he win, he would be elected for a third term, something which the opposition claims would be illegal. The opposition has also called for civil disobedience during the course of the campaigning season, which started on Thursday. Observers state that there is a risk of the election descending into chaos and violence, resembling the 2010-2011 election where 3000 people died and half a million were displaced.
It remains to be seen whether the declaration will lead to an intensification of recent unrest or merely signals its continuation; however, further protests are expected nationwide and are likely to result in clashes between demonstrators and security forces.
President Alassane Ouattara announced on August 7 that he would be standing for a third term in presidential elections scheduled to be held on October 31. The president had been expected to stand down at the end of his current term, but the sudden death of his would-be successor, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, on July 8 left the ruling RHDP coalition with no clear candidate going into the polls. However, Ouattara's decision to stand again has been opposed by multiple opposition and civil society groups. Unrest linked to the issue has resulted in several fatalities and dozens of arrests in recent weeks.
Those in Côte d'Ivoire are advised to monitor developments and remain apprised of the political situation, avoid all public demonstrations and political gatherings as a precaution, avoid discussing sensitive political topics in public and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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