Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara on Thursday said he would not be seeking re-election, assuring that he would be ending his tenure this year.
Elections are due in October this year and many were worried in January when President Ouattara said he would make a final decision in July.
His latest announcement puts to bed any speculations that he might be seeking re-election in this year’s presidential election.
Ouattara told lawmakers that he would hand over power to a new generation after 10 years in office.
“I have decided not to be candidate in the Oct. 31 presidential election and to transfer power to a new generation,” Ouattara said in the capital Yamoussoukro.
In 2018 the Ivorian leader said he will quit when his term ends in 2020. At the time he said he wanted to hand over power to what he calls a new generation of leaders in his country.
President Ouattara has however in the past said he will only seek a third term if veteran leaders of other political parties decide to do same.
In January this year the Ivorian leader told the BBC in an interview that the upcoming “election will be free and fair and transparent.
The date is 31 October according to the constitution and anyone can run for the job provided that of course the constitution and the electoral code make it possible.”
President Ouattara was first elected in 2010 in an election that sparked a brief civil war when his predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to concede defeat.
Around 3,000 people died in the violence. Political tensions have however been on the rise recently after the government issued an arrest warrant for Guillaume Soro.
Soro was a presidential candidate and former rebel leader whose forces helped push Ouattara to power in 2011.