He told his supporters that he will run for president to protect the interests of the nation and to continue putting his experience at the service of the country.
His declaration comes after former Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who was Outtara's favorite successor, died from a heart attack last month.
"Because of this case of force majeure, I have decided to respond favorably to the call of my fellow citizens asking me to be a candidate in the presidential election," Ouattara said as a justification for its political decision.
Here we go President Alassane Ouattara, you mustn't do 3rd term. Here's your presidential candidate �� https://t.co/WEXTnHpO6W
Ouattara's early rivals include former Prime Minister Pascal Affi N'Guessan from the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), former President Henri Konan Bedie from the Democratic Party of the Ivory Coast (PDCI), and former Foreign Minister Marcel Amont-Tanoh.
The political opposition stated that Ouattara cannot run for the third reelection because the Constitution would not allow him to exercise power for three consecutive terms.
In response to this criticism, however, Ouattara said that the current presidential term should not enter those calculations according to the 2016 Constitution.
In 2010, Ivory Coast was ruled by Laurent Gbagbo, who was overthrown after a civil war that left 3,000 deaths. His successor was Outtara who has controlled the politics of this country ever since.