Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara has told the BBC he is “not in a rush” to decide on running for a third term in office in the elections that will be held at the end of October.
President Ouattara has in the past indicated that he will run for the presidency should the leaders of the other main parties, who are also political veterans, do the same.
He told the BBC’s Nicolas Negoce at the recent Africa summit in London that:
“The election will be free and fair and transparent. The date is 31 October according to the constitution and anyone can run for the job provided that of course the constitution and the electoral code make it possible.”
“President Alassane Quattara has not made his decision, but I have until the month of July to make a decision… there is no reason for me to rush.”
He also denied that the recent arrest warrant against his former ally turned critic Guillaume Soro is related to the upcoming elections.
“That is complete nonsense, everyone knows that. I think it is a process which is in the hands of court and he should go back and face the courts, that’s all. “
President Ouattara also defended the decision to rename the regional currency from CFA franc to eco.
He said it was made by head of states of the West African Economic and Monetary Union.
Nigeria, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Liberia and Gambia have criticised the move and have asked for an extraordinary summit of leaders of Ecowas – the West African regional group made of 15 nations – to discuss the matter, Bloomberg news reported.