Former Ivorian foreign minister withdraws from presidential race

One of the main candidates in Cote d’Ivoire’s upcoming presidential election, Amara Essy, has withdrawn from the race.
He attributed his move to “numerous irregularities”.
Mr Essy’s withdrawal comes at the height of the presidential campaign and just three weeks to the ballot on October 25.
In an open letter published Tuesday on his Facebook account, he denounced the conditions in which the polls are being prepared and will be held.
“They are neither open nor regular,” he wrote, insisting: “The conditions for transparent and fair elections do not exist.”
Mr Essy is Cote d’Ivoire’s longest serving foreign affairs minister and a staunch member of the late President Felix Houphouet-Boigny’s Parti Democratique de la Cote d’Ivoire (PDCI).
However, his candidacy was going against the PDCI line, which had declared support for the incumbent President Alassane Ouattara.
After he was cleared for the race, Mr Essy re-launched the Ivoirité campaign that was once used to bar Ouattara on claims he was not an authentic Ivorian.
In his Facebook post on Tuesday, he insisted he does not want to “legitimise the incumbent president,” whom he considers “deaf to the democratic demands” of Ivorians.
Cote d’Ivoire’s Constitutional Council cleared Ouattara’s candidacy, though sporadic violence broke out in parts of the country when the decision was made.
The riots were believed to have been engineered by ex-President Laurent Gbagbo’s supporters they led to two deaths scores of arrests.
President Ouattara seeks a second five-year term and faces nine other candidates, including Gbagbo’s Premier Pascal Afi N’Guessan and House Speaker Mamadou Koulibaly.