Alassane Ouattara, 78, is re-elected for a third term as President of Côte d’Ivoire. According to results announced by the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) this Tuesday at dawn, he obtains 94.27% of the votes in the first round. But the opposition having boycotted the ballot, the verdict is controversial, especially as the vote was marked by violence.
“Mr. Alassane Ouattara is therefore elected President of the Republic” for a new term of five years, declared the President of the CEI, Ibrahime Coulibaly-Kuibiert. The participation rate is 53.90%.
Nearly 5,000 polling stations were unable to open, as opposition activists ransacked them. These acts increased the number of voters on the electoral roll from nearly 7.5 million to just over 6 million.
Observers doubting the voting conditions
According to the scores announced by the CEI, the independent candidate Kouadio Konan Bertin comes in second with 1.99% of the vote. The other two candidates had called for a boycott but still received votes. Former President Henri Konan Bédié finished third with 1.66% and ex-Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan fourth with 0.99%. The CEI has three days to transmit these results to the Constitutional Council, which then has seven days to validate them.
If the observation mission of the African Union considers that “the election took place in an overall satisfactory manner”, the Carter Center, a foundation created by the former President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter , is much more critical. “The political and security context made it impossible to organize a competitive and credible presidential election,” according to its report. The ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) observation mission stressed that “the rise in insecurity in the pre-election period has created a psychosis”.
Elected in 2010, re-elected in 2015, Alassane Ouattara, 78, announced in March that he was giving up a new candidacy, before changing his mind in August following the death of his designated dolphin, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly. The Ivorian fundamental law provides for a maximum of two terms, but the Constitutional Council estimated that with the new Constitution adopted in 2016, the presidential term counter was reset to zero, which the opposition disputes.
On Monday, the opposition announced that it had created a “National Transitional Council (…) chaired by Henri Konan Bédié” with the aim of forming a “transitional government”. In the evening, detonations provoked by unidentified individuals, which left no injuries, rang out in front of the homes of four opposition leaders in Abidjan.
A country marked by the serious post-electoral crisis of 2010-2011
At least 9 people died in the violence linked to the ballot. Before the election, around 30 people have died in inter-communal unrest and violence since August. The fear of an escalation of violence is strong in this West African country, ten years after the post-election crisis of 2010-2011 which left 3,000 dead. It intervened following the refusal of President Laurent Gbagbo (in power since 2000) to recognize his defeat against Alassane Ouattara.
These events in Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s largest cocoa producer, raise fears of a new crisis in a region hit by jihadist attacks in the Sahel, a putsch in Mali, a contested election in Guinea and a political protest at the neighboring Nigerian giant.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr