ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Opposition and civil society groups demonstrated Thursday in Ivory Coast’s city of Abidjan against President Alassane Ouattara’s decision to run for a third term in October elections.
Main access roads to the West African nation’s economic capital were blocked. In some neighborhoods, tires were burned and clashes broke out between police and demonstrators, with police using tear gas.
The demonstrations began in the country’s interior earlier this week and have spread, though many have been dispersed by police and gendarmerie.
They follow Ouattara’s announcement last week that he will seek a third term. The ruling party nominated him as its candidate after its previous nominee, Prime Minister Amadou Coulibaly, died in July from a heart attack.
Ouattara had promised in March not to run again. However, he said the death of the prime minister left a void “in the team that I had put in place.” He has argued that with changes made to the constitution in 2016, his previous terms do not count toward a two-term limit.