Opposition parties, civil society groups, and other organizations formed a united front to make a joint declaration on Sunday, September 20, calling for civil disobedience ahead of the presidential election following weeks of unrest. Despite demonstrations being prohibited by presidential decree, the declaration, which was announced by former president Henri Konan Bédié, called for further gatherings nationwide to call for President Alassane Ouattara to stand down from running for a third term, as well as to demand constitutional and electoral reform.
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.
Copyright and Disclaimer