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Leading Challengers in Ivory Coast Presidential Election Say They Will Boycott Vote

An Ivory Coast Electoral Commission official holds voting cards on Oct. 14, 2020, in Abidjan during distribution of voting cards ahead of the country's presidential election that will be held on Oct. 31, 2020.

Two leading challengers to Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara say they are boycotting this month's election and are urging their supporters to block the election.

Thursday's announcement by former president Henri Konan Bedie and former premier Pascal Affi N'Guessan is the latest rejection of Quattara’s bid to seek a third term in the Oct. 31 poll.

Affi N'Guessan said he and Bedie are inviting their “supporters across the country to block this electoral coup d'état that President Ouattara is preparing to commit, to prevent the holding of all operations connected to the election and to apply the call for a boycott by all legal means at their disposal to convince the powers in place to convene the country's political forces so as to find an acceptable solution."

Affi N'Guessan and Bedie have also accused the ruling Rally of the Republicans party of tampering with the electoral process. They say they agree with an ongoing protest that Quattara’s pursuit of a third term violates the constitution.

Quattara says the new 2016 constitution rebooted term limits, giving him the right to seek another term.

Quattara entered the race after the July death of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who Quattara had chosen to represent the ruling party in the presidential election.

The boycott means Quattara's only opposition is Independent candidate Kouadio Konan Bertin.