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President Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast has said he will run for a third term in the upcoming elections.

Ivory Coast is scheduled to hold elections in October.

President Alassane Ouattara, who has been in power since 2011, said in March that he would not run again.

However, his preferred successor, then-Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly died last month.

President Alassane Ouattara, 78, was nominated by his party last week and said he would announce his decision later.

“I have decided to respond favorably to the call of my fellow citizens,” Alassane Ouattara said in a televised speech on Thursday.

“Given my previous promise, this decision represents a real sacrifice for me.”

The opposition party, Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) says the two term limit in the constitution bars president Alassane Ouattara from running for the third time.

President Alassane Ouattara says the two mandates do not count under the new constitution that was adopted in 2016.

FPI is the party of former president Laurent Gbagbo.

The FPI party named one-time Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan as its candidate, ending speculation that Gbagbo might return from abroad to run for the country’s top seat.

PDCI, one of Ivory Coast’s largest political parties has named Henri Konan Bedie as its candidate.

Mr Bedie was president between 1993 and 1999.

The presidential race will be a tight one considering the conflict that came up after Gbagbo refused to step down in 2010 after Alassane Ouattara’s win.

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