Move to change Ivory Coast’s constitution

Move to change Ivory Coast's constitution

Ivory Coast’s 74-year-old President Alassane Ouattara has presented to the National Assembly a draft constitution which proposes removing the age limit of 75 for presidential candidates.

The draft also says that one parent of a candidate has to be born in Ivory Coast. The current constitution says that both have to be Ivorian-born.

Nationality disputes have been at the heart of previous conflicts in Ivory Coast and led to a coup in 1999.

Urging lawmakers to support the amendments, Mr Ouattara said:

This is the occasion to definitively turn the page on the successive crises our country has known, to write new pages in our history by proposing a new social pact.”

Mr Ouattara first took office in 2010 following the arrest of his predecessor, Laurent Ggagbo, who refused to accept defeat in elections, plunging the West African state into conflict.

Mr Gbagbo has been charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) with war crimes. He has denied the charges.

Mr Ouattara won a second term last year, and is required to step down at the next election in 2020.

The two main opposition parties have rejected the proposed amendments, saying there was no need for a new constitution.

Ivory Coast’s National Assembly will vote on the proposed changes, before voters decide in a referendum on whether to approve or reject them.


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