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Outrage over Ivory Coast president’s third term bid

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara’s decision to run for a third term in October’s presidential election triggered outrage on Friday among opposition and civil society groups, who labelled it a “coup” that risked tipping the country into chaos.

The exemption will apply to the partners of Germans from countries that Germany considers high-risk – currently most of the world outside the EU – and couples will have to provide some proof that they were in a relationship before the pandemic, the interior ministry said on Friday.

Most European Union borders have been closed to non-EU travellers since March, unless they are essential workers or married to an EU resident.

On social media, separated couples have been lobbying under the hashtags #LoveIsEssential and #LoveIsNotTourism for governments to allow them to reunite.

A few European countries including Austria, Norway and Denmark, have heeded the call, introducing “sweetheart visas” that exempt couples from the travel ban.

In Germany, couples will have to present an invitation by the partner who lives in Germany and sign a statement confirming that they are in a relationship.

They must also provide proof, such as stamps in passports or plane tickets, that they have met in person in Germany at least once or that they have lived abroad together.

The European Commission on Friday renewed a call for the remaining EU member states to exempt the unmarried partners of European citizens from travel restrictions into their countries.

|AFP

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