from ALEXIS DOUMBIA in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast Bureau
ABIDJAN, (CAJ News) – INCUMBENT, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, took an early lead in an election preceded by violence that reportedly left 35 people dead.
Results obtained from 26 out of 108 districts at the time of going to press on Monday had Ouattara on the lead.
Controversy marred Saturday’s election.
Opposition candidates contend that it is unconstitutional for Ouattara to seek a third term, having been in power since 2010.
The 78-year-old politician in turn argues that the constitutional changes in 2016 make this possible.
The Constitutional Council rejected the candidacy of 40 contenders, including former president Laurent Gbagbo, former Prime Minister Guillaume Soro and Mamadou Koulibaly.
“From what we can gather, it is widely expected that President Ouattara will win the elections,” Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) stated.
“And with that, the hope that the economy will continue to grow on a strong footing,” the finance house added of the world’s biggest cocoa beans producer.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast the economy of the West African country to grow by 1,8 percent this year.
The outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has lowered the projections.
The country of 26 million has recorded 20 716 cases, including 126 deaths.
Samira Daoud, Amnesty International’s director for West and Central Africa, urged authorities to release anyone arbitrarily arrested for calling for protests against Ouattara’s re-election bid.
Ouattara’s election in 2010 triggered a civil war as Gbagbo refused to hand over power.
Over 3 000 people were killed.
– CAJ News