Political opposition leaders and their supporters joined forces in a united front at a rally of over 30,000 at the Felix Houphouet Boigny stadium in Abidjan on Saturday in civil disobedience against the sought perceived unconstitutional third term of current president Alassane Ouattara at the approaching October 31s elections.
Yaho Ayo Frederick, a rally attendee, is resolute in his stance, “We Ivorians are tired. We are tired. We want to get rid of Alassane. We don’t want him any more. That’s it. I am PDCI but today there is no PDCI. It’s Côte d’Ivoire that’s here. The young people are here. We are standing as if we are one, to say “no” to a third term of Alassane Dramane Ouattara.”
Henry Konan Bédié, head of the Democratic Party of Ivory Coast – African Democratic Rally (PDCI-RDA) and former president of the country, told the crowd that the “dictatorship” of the ruling party RHDP (Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace) will be defeated.
Zogo Kad, another rally attendee, has had enough, “We’ve been here since 6:00 a.m., me and my child. We came to defend our country. Because we don’t have peace. We don’t want to see Alassane here anymore. A second term then a third term, we don’t want him! “
As political tensions mount, opposition activists want Ouattara disqualified from the election and call for the dissolution of the nation’s Constitutional Council and Independent Electoral Commission which both enabled and validated his presidential candidacy.
The political unrest is unnerving for many Ivorians as many fear a repeat of the 2010 election violence.
President Alassane Ouattara — who has been in power for nearly a decade, decided to run for a third term after his chosen successor unexpectedly passed away. Ouattara insists that his first two terms do not count toward term limits following the modification of an article code in the national constitution that most Ivorians find questionable.