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Daily Briefing: Alassane Ouattara Elected for Third Term in Ivory Coast

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) says Alassane Ouattara, has provisionally won a third term in office with 94.27 percent of the vote, the electoral commission announced, after a bitter election which sparked deadly violence and which opposition voters boycotted.

President of the Independent Electoral Commission in Cote D’Ivoire, Ibrahim E Coulibaly-Kuibiert, announced early on Tuesday, “Thus, elected president of the republic, Alassane Ouattara.”

He stated the final turnout for the October 31 election was at 53.90 percent.

The main opposition camps who still perceive Ouattara’s candidacy as a constitutional coup d’etat, chose to boycott the ballot in civil revolt.

Ivory Coast

Opposition groups reject election

Ivory Coast’s major opposition parties did not acknowledge the preliminary outcomes of the election as they called on Monday. The opposing camps vowed to establish their own transitional government, asserting that President Alassane Ouattara’s, mandate to lead the country is now over.

Ouattara is seeking another term after the Constitutional Council ruled on Sept. 14 that he could run even though the state limits the presidency to two terms. Despite the fact that the Ivory Coast’s highest court didn’t provide an account for its decision, Ouattara had previously stated that a new constitution adopted in 2016 wiped his slate clean.

Ivory Coast: Alassane Ouattara for a Third term or Not

Of the 44 candidates who sought to run, 40 were barred. Besides President Alassane Ouattara, the nomination of three other contenders was approved. Only just one of the three opposition candidates actively campaigned in opposition to Ouattara after the two others called for a boycott.

Opponents and experts are up in arms against allowing Ouattara to bid for the third term, pointing out that the president himself had opposed to the third term for the top political post.

They are also peeved at the decision of barring former President Laurent Gbagbo and former rebel leader and parliament speaker Guillaume Soro from contesting the elections.

Guillaume Soro, remains in France after his return to Ivory Coast was foiled by criminal charges his followers say were politically motivated. Gbagbo, the former president, is living in Belgium while ICC prosecutors appeal his acquittal. He was struck from the electoral list and denied a passport.

Both these strong contenders were disqualified by the IEC for their alleged participation in criminal issue. The opposition coalition has asserted that only 10% of Ivorians cast ballots, without naming its source. International observers said Monday that “a significant portion of the population did not vote.”

The election has fuelled worries about unrest in the world’s largest cocoa-producing country. Between 2010-201, more than 3,000 people when then-President Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept defeat to Ouattara. The opposition says more than 30 people have died in violence linked to Saturday’s election.

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