Asked if he understood why many Ivorians and opponents are upset by the move, the US-educated president says no.
"No, I think they know they could not win and they want to grab power without an election. They're not democrats, it's as easy as that," he said.
"I'm not trying to be a George Washington," he added. "I don't plan to do so many terms, but it's important for my country and for myself, to be in the presidential chair at this specific moment, with all the challenges my country has to face," he says.
While Ivory Coast's highest court cleared the way for Ouattara to run for re-election, an electoral commission barred forty others from challenging him. The president says it's better to only allow candidates with strong support and legitimate party backing to run -- citing other African countries which also limit the number of candidates.
"Let me tell you, democracy does not mean that anyone should come and run," he says.
But one senior figure in the Ivorian justice system, who spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity, echoes persistent complaints by the opposition that Ouattara has stacked the supposedly independent electoral commission with his friends -- just like the last president.
"The commission is a commission which only answers to the government," the source says. "They lack independence, they are beholden to the power."
Yacouba Doumbia, president of the Ivorian Human Rights Movement, tells CNN that his country's judicial system is hardly independent either.
"On paper, we have laws that if they were applied effectively, we would find ourselves in a democratic country; unfortunately in practice neither the party in power nor the opposition give us the sense that we are in a democratic country," he says.
Opposition leaders arrested
Among those presidential candidates barred from running were the former president Laurent Gbagbo, recently acquitted of war crimes and Guillaume Soro, the ex-rebel leader who once helped oust Gbagbo from office by force. Until recently, Soro served as Ouattara's prime minister, but is now in exile.
Those who were allowed to run boycotted the poll and called on their supporters to protest rather than vote. Afterwards, they set up a parallel government to organize a new election. One presidential candidate was arrested, the other was put under house arrest. Amnesty International says neither had access to lawyers.