Ivory Coast votes for president in test of post-war stability

ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST - DECEMBER 18: Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara casts his vote during the parliamentary elections in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on December 16, 2016. (Photo by Cyrille Bah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
File Photo: ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST -: Ivory Coast President Alassane File Photo: Ouattara casts his vote during the parliamentary elections in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on December 16, 2016. (Photo by Cyrille Bah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images).

Ivory Coast goes to the polls on Saturday as President Alassane Ouattara seeks a third term in an election two rival candidates have urged their supporters to boycott.

Thirty people have died in violence in the lead-up to the election, which is seen as a test of stability in the world’s top cocoa producer and one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies.

The street clashes have brought back memories of the 2010 vote that Ouattara won but which unleashed a brief civil war that killed 3,000 people when his predecessor Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down.

The recent violence has pitted the 78-year-old president’s supporters against those of his opponents, who say he is breaking the law by running again because the constitution limits presidents to two terms, and is jeopardizing the country’s hard-earned economic gains.