Policy think tank, IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, has urged ECOWAS Chairman, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to call on Ivorian President, Alassane Ouattara, to step down from his planned third term bid.

President Ouattara, 78 years, announced in August that he will seek another term after the sudden death of his handpicked successor, the previous month, created a leadership vacuum at the governing RDHP party.

The President’s decision has infuriated the opposition who says Ouattara is violating the constitution by seeking another term, with 33 days to the elections.

Ouattara has been in power for a decade, but the Ivorian constitutional council has cleared him and three other candidates to run, including 86-year-old former President Henri Konan Bedie.

In an analysis by IMANI Francophone, an extension of the IMANI Center for Policy and Education based in Ghana, the think tank said Ivory Coast’s precarious peace will be preserved when Ouattara steps down.

“For Côte d’Ivoire and by extension its coastal neighbors, the risk of security instability would be intensified around the presidential election at the end of 2020, while the authorities and the security forces are focusing on the organisation and control of electoral events,” IMANI said in the analysis.

“I urge ECOWAS Chairman, Nana Addo to call on Ouattara to stand down from his planned third term bid in order to preserve the precarious peace,” said Franklin Cudjoe, IMANI President.

More than a dozen people have been killed in violent protests in recent weeks, sparking memories of the 2010-2011 civil war that broke out when Gbagbo refused to stand down after the electoral commission declared Ouattara the winner.

Opposition figures have called for a civil disobedience campaign and for the election to be postponed, but have stopped short of saying they will boycott the poll, while the RDHP has said the election will take place regardless of whether they participate.

Read the full analysis by IMANI below.

The Imani Francophone Think Tank, an extension of the Imani Center for Policy and Education Think Tank based in Ghana, provides here an analysis of the political risk in Côte d’Ivoire within 33 days of the presidential elections.

Thursday, August 6, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, who had given up standing, announced his candidacy for the presidential election on October 31, 2020. This announcement comes after the death of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, the announced candidate for the ruling party.

The opposition considers a third term of President Ouattara, elected for the first time in 2010 and re-elected in 2015, illegal. Even though the Ivorian constitution adopted in 2016 limits the number of presidential terms to two, President Ouattara and the ruling party (RHDP) consider the adoption of a new constitution to be a reset of the counter, thus making the incumbent president eligible to run again. This election again presents key risks for Côte d’Ivoire.

Security crisis

The countries of West Africa and the Sahel continue to be hit by unprecedented terrorist violence and inter-communal insurgencies, which target civilian and military targets. The humanitarian consequences are enormous.

A timeline of the most recent attacks in the sub-region

On June 14, in Mali, an ambush by the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), the main jihadist alliance in the Sahel, linked to Al-Qaeda, took place in the Diabaly region, north of Ségou. 24 Malian army soldiers are killed, three are missing.On June 13, in Nigeria , two towns in the northeast suffered attacks from the Islamic State of the Greater Sahara (EIGS) killing at least 50 people according to official reports.On June 10 and 11, in Côte d’Ivoire , an Ivorian security force base was attacked by dozens of armed men in the far north of the country, killing 12 and wounding 6.

On June 9 , an EIGS attack in Nigeria in Gubio district, Borno state, killed at least 59 people.

On May 29 and 30, in Burkina Faso , at least 50 people, civilians and soldiers, were killed in a series of attacks attributed to “assailants” in the east and center of the country.

For Côte d’Ivoire and by extension its coastal neighbors, the risk of security instability would be intensified around the presidential election at the end of 2020, while the authorities and the security forces are focusing on the organization and control of electoral events.

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