After his prime minister’s death and designated successor, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, the ruling party is asking the Ivorian president to run for a third term. Alassane Ouattara already vowed not to run for re-election last year, says he won’t seek third term in October 2020 election.
If President Ouattara refuses to stand for next election he will be a divisive figure within the ruling party says the “Executive Director” of the party. It was a thoughtful move by the President last year to say that “he will prefer to hand over power to a new generation” but it seems like his party, the ruling RHDP refuses to see the need for him to step down. In an interview, the party’s Executive Secretary, Adama Bictogo told RFI radio that Ouattara’s candidacy would help avoid bitter succession battles. According to M. Bictogo, the majority of their party’s supporters have turned to president Alassane because he is the solution.
Although the constitution adopted in 2016 accorded him the right to run for a third term, many believed that Ouattara has out-lived his potential to lead the nation. The opposition said the RHDP is using the death of the 61-year old former Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly who was a potential successor as a pretext to have Mr Ouattara run for a third term.
The opposition on the other hand sees the president as an impediment to the development of the world’s leading cocoa producer and nothing but stepping at the end of his second term is much needed to push the country forward. Failure to step-down, the opposition will be forced to unite against the ruling party which will make it more difficult for the President to get a third term.
The African political playing-field is dominated by the old-guards, which is seen by many as reasons why many African countries are still underdeveloped. Former President Henri Konan Bedie, 86, declared his candidature for the next election, whilst another former President Laurent Gbagbo is yet to be certain about his position but if he is to join the race, then the chances of seeing a new breed of leadership in the country is unlikely.