Alassane Ouattara has won a third term in power in Ivory Coast despite a national boycott sparked by opposition leaders.
Ouattara secured a mountainous 94.27 percent of the vote.
“Thus elected president of the republic, Alassane Ouattara,” Kuibiert-Coulibaly Ibrahime, the head of the electoral commission, announced.
Leading opposition candidates have slammed Ouattara’s attempt to secure a third term as illegal. They urged their supporters to stay home and abstain from voting, which could have inevitably led to Ouattara’s landslide victory.
There has been civil unrest in the country following the death in July of Ouattara’s planned successor, the prime minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly.
Ouattara announced that he would not be seeking a third term. “I have decided not to be candidate in the October 31 presidential election and to transfer power to a new generation,” he told lawmakers in March.
“This is big, not just for Côte d’Ivoire but the region, where all of a sudden we are witnessing a resurgence of the ‘third term’ agenda,” said Idayat Hassan, director of the Abuja-based Centre for Democracy and Development said at the time. “This . . . has prevented political stalemate, a citizens’ uprising and an outbreak of violence.”
But Ouattara soon doubled back, claiming that the constitution did not prevent him from doing so.
Opposition nominees, former President Henri Konan Bedie and ex-Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan, said they would refuse to acknowledge Ouattara’s victory. Instead, they announced the formulation of a transitional council presided by Bedie.
“The council will have a mission to prepare the framework for a credible and transparent presidential election. It will name a government in the coming hours,” N’Guessan said in a news conference.