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Ivory Coast’s top court on Monday endorsed the third term bid of President Alassane Ouattara as protests turned violent in several cities.
Former President Laurent Gbagbo and former Prime Minister Guillaume Soro were barred by the constitutional council from contesting in next month’s presidential poll.
Only four out of the 44 candidates seeking to stand for election in the October 31 presidential election were cleared.
It cleared former president Henri Konan Bedie of PDCI party, Gbagbo’s former prime minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan and Kouadio Konan Bertin.
Protesters in the Abijan torched a bus after an altercation between security forces and youths in the Yopougon district.
Recall that a bloody conflict broke out in Ivory Coast after Gbagbo refused to concede defeat to Ouattara in the 2010 election.
Reports suggest around 15 people have died in violence since Ouattara, 78, announced last month that he would run for a third term.
The unrest has political observers worried that the vote could destabilise Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer and French-speaking West Africa’s largest economy, Aljazeera reports.
Although the constitution stipulates two terms in office for presidents, Ouattara alleges a 2016 constitutional review reversed the limitation.
President Ouattara had been poised to relinquish power after his second term, but had a rethink after the death of his anointed successor, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly from a heart attack in July.
This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.