Former Côte d’Ivoire PM Soro urges opposition to lawfully block Ouattara ‘s bid

Ivorian National Assembly president Guillaume Soro looks over during the launch of a new movement called 'Political Committee', one week after his resignation as speaker on February 15, 2019 in Abidjan. - Soro is a member of Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara's Rally of Republicans (RDR) party but is rumoured to have fallen out with him. Ouattara nonetheless said there was "no problem" between them, adding: "I do not rule out that he will return." (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Former Côte d’Ivoire Prime Minister Guillaume Soro. (Photo credit ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)

Former Côte d’Ivoire Prime Minister Guillaume Soro urged the opposition to use lawful means to block the controversial presidential bid by incumbent Alassane Ouattara which would potentially see him serve a third term in office.

Soro told reporters in the French capital Paris that Ivorians did not want an election in its current form.

“I call for unity of action by the opposition to stop Mr Ouattara … by all legal and legitimate means,” he said.

It was Soro’s first comment in public since Côte d’Ivoire’s Constitutional Court barred him and former president Laurent Gbagbo from contesting in next month’s presidential election.

The court’s decision, however, cleared Ouattara to run for a third term sparking violent protests in a number of cities.

At least a dozen people have been killed since protests against Ouattara’s presidential bid erupted in August.

In March, Ouattara said he will not seek re-election but made a U-turn and formally accepted the nomination by the ruling party following the death of its candidate and former Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly in July.

His critics and opponents were quick to fault his decision saying that his actions were in violation of the constitution which only allowed a president to serve for two terms. The incumbent, however, fired back saying that his first two terms did not count under the new constitution which was adopted in 2016.

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