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78-Year-Old Ouattara Sworn In For Third Term As Ivory Coast President

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara is sworn in on December 14, 2020 in Abidjan.


Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara was sworn in for a controversial third time period on Monday, urging the opposition to assist defuse tensions after election-related violence claimed 85 lives within the West African powerhouse.

The ceremony was attended by 13 African counterparts in addition to French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy — however boycotted by the opposition, as was the October 31 election that returned Ouattara to energy.

“I ask all political parties to seize this new opportunity… to defuse tensions through dialogue,” the 78-year-old president mentioned, noting publicly for the primary time that legislative elections shall be held within the first quarter of 2021.

Ouattara promised the creation of a nationwide reconciliation ministry within the subsequent authorities, whereas stressing that “violence and intolerable acts… should not go unpunished”.

It was a tacit warning to a number of opposition leaders who have been arrested within the wake of the election, with authorized proceedings over “sedition” launched towards them.

But main opposition determine Henri Konan Bedie final week proposed a “national dialogue”.

He additionally introduced the dissolution of a rival authorities, the “National Transition Council”, that the opposition arrange after the election, a transfer that landed spokesman Pascal Affi N’Guessan in jail.

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Bedie, 86, a former president himself, stopped wanting recognising Ouattara’s re-election with greater than 94 % of the vote.

Ouattara and his supporters had argued {that a} 2016 revision of the structure reset his time period counter to zero, permitting him to hunt a 3rd time period.

He had initially deliberate to step down after serving two phrases, along with his then prime minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly in pole place to succeed him.

But Ouattara modified his thoughts after Coulibaly unexpectedly died in July.

On Monday, Ouattara gave a nod to Coulibaly, saying: “I would have liked so much to see him in my place.”

– Memories of civil battle –
Pre- and post-election violence has claimed not less than 85 lives since August, with round 500 injured, in accordance with an official toll.

For many Ivorians, the bloodletting revived painful recollections of the aftermath of disputed elections in 2010.

A political standoff was adopted by a quick civil battle through which round 3,000 individuals died and an estimated 1.3 million individuals fled their properties.

Ouattara has requested his prime minister, Hamed Bakayoko, to renew discussions with the opposition on the composition of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI).

The opposition is demanding a reform of the physique, which it accuses of bias.

In his speech on Monday, Ouattara mentioned he would dedicate his third time period to training and the social security web in addition to reconciliation, vowing to carry three million individuals out of poverty.

While the nation of 25 million has loved robust financial development and the completion of a number of infrastructure initiatives below Ouattara, critics say the poorest have been left behind.

Ouattara additionally vowed to step up the combat towards corruption, each within the authorities and the non-public sector.

In a light-hearted second, the president spoke of his nicknames for his numerous counterparts attending the occasion — from “little brother” for Benin’s Patrice Talon, aged 62, to the “emir of the Sahel” for Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger.

But his nickname for 77-year-old Congo-Brazzaville President Denis Sassou Nguesso, in energy for 36 years, raised eyebrows: “emperor”.


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