Ivory Coast’s President, Alassane Ouattara has invited his main opposition rival, Henri Konan Bédié, for talks aimed at calming tensions in the West African nation following the just-concluded presidential election.
In a message in a national broadcast, the president reaffirmed his availability for a sincere and constructive dialogue with the opposition, while respecting the constitutional order.
Contrary to widespread rumours of an eminent crackdown on his opponents, Mr Ouattara instead urged opposition leaders to end their protests and for the citizens to work to strengthen peace.
Though Ouattara won the election by a landslide, Bédié and another opposition leader, former prime minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan, said they did not recognize the election and proceeded to announce a transition government.
Critics of Ouattara argue that he is violating the law by contesting in an election again because the constitution limits presidents to two terms, Ouattara, on the other hand, says the passing of a new constitution in 2016 allowed him to restart his mandate.
This broke into violence before and after the elections and at least nine people were killed on Monday in clashes in the country on the day the Constitutional Council confirmed Ouattara’s re-election with 94.27 percent of the vote.
Six people were killed and 41 others were injured in Daoukro, according to a local government administrator Solange Aka who spoke to AFP.
The U.N. refugee agency says more than 3,200 Ivoirians have fled post-election violence in their country to Liberia, Ghana and Togo and more reportedly are on their way.
The president, who will now pilot the affairs of the country for another 5 years, has as priority to maintain peace and ensure the stability of Ivory Coast before handing over to a younger generation.