“All options are on the table, including a new candidacy for President Ouattara”. With this statement, the executive director of the Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) Adama Bictogo opened the door this Thursday to a new candidacy of the Ivorian head of state Alassane Ouattara.
This exit comes while the Prime Minister invested Amadou Gon Coulibaly died Wednesday at 61 years, following heart problems, plunging the presidential party in an unexpected crisis three and a half months from the presidential election.
“The last decision will come back to him”
“The president must listen to the base”, but “the last decision will come back to him,” continued the party director, adding that “the choice (of the candidate) will be a choice of gathering”. “A candidacy is being prepared”, but “we are ready, the party is organized on the ground, the network is established”. He said that the hour was at the Prime Minister’s funeral, which should take place next week and last for several days.
Elected in 2010, then re-elected in 2015, Alassane Ouattara, 76, announced in March that he did not want to stand for re-election, then had Amadou Gon Coulibaly invested as a candidate. The Ivorian Constitution nevertheless limits the number of presidential terms to two. The head of state and his supporters believe, however, that the change in the Constitution in 2016, after his re-election, legally gives him the right to run, but the opposition maintains that the spirit of the Constitution prohibits him.
Among the challengers who could replace Gon Coulibaly (if Alassane Ouattara does not run again) is Defense Minister Hamed Bakayoko, observers said.
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