Ivory Coast’s former President Henri Konan Bedie will run for office again in presidential elections in October, he said in a statement.
Bedie’s candidacy is the latest twist in a turbulent build-up to a vote that is wide open after current President Alassane Ouattara said he would not run again after ten years in power.
“I am both surprised and happy with the content of your messages asking me to be a candidate in the election,” Bedie told members of his PDCI-RDA coalition. “I feel honoured.”
The pact propelled Ouattara to presidential election victories in 2010 and 2015 but collapsed in September 2018 when the parties bickered over whose candidate should be in position in 2020.
Ouattara said last year that he would run for a third term if his predecessors Bedie and Laurent Gbagbo decided to run, raising concerns of a constitutional crisis given that Ivory Coast has a two-term mandate limit.
He backed down in March saying he wanted to hand over power to a new generation.