Ruling party wants I.Coast president to run again in 2025Mon, 27 May 2024 15:05:05 GMT

Ivory Coast’s ruling party on Monday called for 82-year-old President Alassane Ouattara to run for re-election next year, saying he was their “natural candidate”.Ouattara is yet to announce whether he will seek a fourth term at the helm of the West African nation.”What’s at stake is the victory of our natural candidate… Alassane Ouattara at the presidential election,” said Gilbert Kone Kafana, president of the directory of the ruling Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace party (RHDP).He told a party meeting in Abidjan that the aim was “to win at the first round” of the vote, expected in October 2025.”He’s our candidate and it’s what the party wants. We will go to ask him to accept,” RHDP spokesman Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani told reporters after the meeting.At the start of the month, party officials in their northern stronghold of Savanes had urged Ouattara to seek a fourth term at a rally attended by tens of thousands and several ministers.He has been in office since 2011 and another term could keep him there till 2030.Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo, 78, was on May 10 named as his African People’s Party (PPA) candidate for the election even though he is banned from running because of a 20-year jail term from which he was pardoned.Tidjane Thiam, the 61-year-old main opposition leader, is expected to be selected to stand for president by his Democratic Party of Ivory Coast (PDCI).