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Ivory Coast president says will not run for third term

October's election is a major challenge for the Ivory Coast after its 2010-2011 ballot ended in violence between political rivals that killed 3,000 people.

FILE: President of Côte d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara. Picture: United Nations Photo

YAMOUSSOUKRO - Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said on Thursday he would not run in October's election, ending months of speculation over whether he would seek a third term.

October's election is a major challenge for the Ivory Coast after its 2010-2011 ballot ended in violence between political rivals that killed 3,000 people.

"I would like to solemnly announce that I will not be a candidate in the 31 October, 2020 presidential election and I will transfer power to the younger generation," Ouattara said in a speech to Congress.

Ouattara, first elected in 2010 and then re-elected in 2015, had kept Ivorians guessing over his political future, saying last year that he could run again if his traditional rivals were candidates.

Ouattara in 2010-11 ousted the then-president, Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to step down after losing elections in a standoff that triggered violent street clashes.