Ivory Coast president says he will not run for re-election

ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST (AP) — Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara said on Thursday that he will not run for re-election in October, ending speculation that he would try for a third term.

“I would like to solemnly announce that I have decided not to be a candidate in the Presidential election on October 31 and to transfer power to a young generation,” he said before deputies and senators in the capital, Yamoussoukro.

“It was an honour to serve my country.” For some time, Ouattara had remained silent about his plans. Opponents said he didn’t have a constitutional right to a third term, but he had said that he would run if his long-time rival, former President Laurent Gbagbo, became a candidate.

When Ouattara was first elected in 2010, Gbagbo, who was president at that time, refused to acknowledge the win, leading to months of violence that claimed over 3,000 lives.