After weeks of denials and playing hide and seek, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara has finally shown that like many African leaders, he cannot resist the lust for power, as he formally accepts the ‘call’ from his party to run for a third term in office.
Leaders not adhering to the constitutional limits of their term in office has been the major problem with democracy in Africa, time and time again, they will always devise a way to force it on the people.
From the East coast of Africa to the Western Africa, North to South of Africa, the experience has been repeated in different form.
While some get a free pass from the hypocritical western powers, others are demonized and even ostracized as a result. Ouattara’s acceptance is coming same day the ruling party in Guinea asked Alpha Conde to stand for a third term.
Guinea’s capital Conakry has been under siege since Conde began the move late in 2018 and culminated with referendum early this year to give him a leeway.
Allasane Ouattara who has governed Ivory Coast since 2011, said in March that he would not run again, though many doubted his true intention. But the death of his preferred successor, then-prime minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly in July, provided a seemingly good excuse for him.
It is sad that in a country as large as Ivory Coast, it is only the late PM that Ouattara deemed competent enough to succeed him in office, after working with tens if not hundreds of personalities in all works of life for a total of 10 years! This should be considered as an insult by every Ivorian.
Obviously, Ouattara does not see himself as being on the same level with his fellow citizens who sacrificed all to bring him to power.
In his speech he claimed that the decision represents a real sacrifice for him, Mr. President, do you really want to know what real sacrifice is? It is grooming people who can take over from you and outshine you, that is the real sacrifice as told in every folktales in Africa.
The coming election in Ivory Coast is seen as the greatest test yet of the tenuous stability achieved since a brief civil war in 2010 and 2011 killed about 3,000 people following Ouattara’s first election win.
Ouattara’s opponents among whom are even his former aids, have said that the two-term limit in the constitution bars him from running again, but Ouattara has said his first two mandates do not count under the new constitution adopted in 2016.