Former Ivorian President Henri Konan Bédié will seek a return to the presidency in keenly awaited polls slated for October 2020.
Bedie was president from 1993 until 1999 when he was overthrown in a coup. He will contest as flagbearer of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire.
In a statement to announce his return, his party officials urged him to stand as a candidate at the nomination convention slated for 26 July. One of his potential challengers, businessman Jean Louis Billon, withdrew his candidacy in favour of Bédié.
If he is handed the ticket, his main opponent for now will be outgoing Alassane Ouattara’s party candidate, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly.
The 85-year-old said he will deploy the potential of young people if he’s given another chance to lead the West African country.
Bedie backed Ouattara in two previous elections but withdrew his party from the ruling coalition in 2018 when Ouattara said a new constitution adopted in 2016 could allow him a third term.