Protests against Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara’s decision to seek a third term has left at least five people dead and scores injured.
Tensions run high in the world’s top cocoa producer since Ouattara’s preferred successor and ruling party candidate Amadou Gon Coulibaly unexpectedly died of heart problems last month. His death prompted 78-year-old Ouattara to announce on Aug. 6 he’ll run instead because of “the challenges we face to maintain peace.”
While Ouattara has argued that a new constitution adopted in 2016 has turned back the clock, opposition leader Henri Konan Bedie says the third-term bid is illegal.
Three people were killed in Daoukro, the hometown of Bedie, as his supporters clashed with those of Ouattara on Wednesday, according to a note from the country’s security forces. Two others died in the town of Bonoua, while protesters in the commercial capital, Abidjan, burned tires and blocked roads on Thursday.
The demonstrations are illegal as the organizers didn’t ask permission from authorities, said Minister of Territorial Administration Sidiki Diakite.