Main rivals of President Alassane Ouattara have urged their supporters to boycott the poll [Luc Gnago/Reuters]

Ivory Coast’s Constitutional Council last month cleared four candidates to run in the country’s high-stakes election on October 31, whittling down an initial list of 44 presidential hopefuls.

Among them, controversially, was incumbent President Alassane Ouattara.

In power for a decade, the 78-year-old says constitutional amendments introduced in 2016 effectively reset the countdown clock on the two-term limit and allow him to run again. But the opposition and critics insist the move is unconstitutional.

Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, has been rocked by deadly protests since Ouattara announced his candidacy, sparking fears of instability in a country still recovering from months of post-election violence that

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