UN Secretary – General , Antonio Guterres , has called for peace in Saturday ’ s presidential election in Ivory Coast amid reports of deadly pre – election protests in the country .
Guterres made this known in a statement signed by his spokesman , Mr Stephane Dujarric , in New York on Friday.
“ On the eve of the presidential election in Côte d ’ Ivoire , the Secretary – General calls on all Ivorians to ensure that the polls are conducted in a peaceful manner.
“ He urges all political and opinion leaders and their supporters to refrain from inciting violence , spreading misinformation and using hate speech ,” Dujarric said .
The statement noted that violence had killed about 30 people since August 2020 when the incumbent President Alassane Ouattara announced his candidacy for a third term .
The opposition says the move is a violation of the country ’ s constitution , which they argue permits only two terms of five years each , according to reports .
The two main opposition candidates , former President Henri Bedie and former Prime Minister , Affi N’ Guessan, have called for an election boycott and urged their supporters to disrupt the polls .
Ouattara, 78 , who has been in power since 2011 , argues that amendments of the constitution in 2016 empower him to run again .