Ivory Coast President Ouattara wins re-election with 94.27 per cent vote

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara (pictured) has won a third term in office with 94.27 per cent of the vote after a bitter election that sparked deadly violence and was boycotted by opposition voters, provisional results announced by the electoral commission showed on Monday.

Yesterday, when President Alassane Ouattara edged closer to claiming a landslide election victory, the opponents said his bid for a third term was illegal and the results were skewed by an opposition boycott.

Two major opposition candidates on the ballot had asked supporters not to take part in Saturday’s election, in protest at Ouattara’s decision to run. Their parties said whole swathes of the country had not participated.

The data from the electoral commission showed turnout at 57%.

Ivory Coast’s constitution allows presidents to stand for two terms. Ouattara says the approval of a new constitution in 2016 restarted his mandate, which the opposition disputes.

Opposition activists say his decision to seek a third term was a further blow to democracy in West Africa less than three months after a military coup in neighbouring Mali.

The Carter Center, which monitored the election, said the political and security situation made it difficult to organise a credible vote.

 “The electoral process excluded a large number of Ivorian political forces and was boycotted by part of the population in a volatile security environment,” it said in a statement.

The opposition candidates who boycotted the vote - former President Henri Konan Bedie and ex-Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan - have said they will not recognise a Ouattara victory.

In a joint statement on Monday evening, they announced the creation 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.

On Monday, gunshots were heard in the upmarket Cocody neighbourhood of Abidjan, the commercial capital, shattering the tense calm that had prevailed through election day and the day after, witnesses said.

Later, on Twitter, Bedie said his Cocody home had been among those of opposition members that had been attacked by heavy weapon fire, but gave no details.