Ivory Coast: tension pending the results of the presidential election

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Ivorians waited Sunday in a tense atmosphere for the results of the presidential election, including the turnout, the day after a ballot boycotted by the opposition who already speaks of a “failure” of power, while President Alassane Ouattara, confident, called for calm.

• Read also: Presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire: Ouattara is seeking a third term in a tense atmosphere

The toll of the violence which was numerous in the southern half of the country was not immediately known, but the opposition and the authorities spoke of “deaths”. Some 35,000 members of the security forces had been deployed in the country.

Before the election, around thirty people had died in violence since the announcement in August of President Ouattara’s candidacy for a third term that the opposition considers “unconstitutional”.

In Abidjan, it is true traditionally quiet on Sunday morning, traffic was abnormally fluid with security forces deployed at strategic points.

In the neighborhoods, people went out to run errands, go to church, and even play sports. “You have to live well. We don’t work, ”says Tidiane, a resident of the popular Marcory district.

Alassane Ouattara, 78, who should win in the first round due to the boycott of the opposition, called for calm on Saturday: “I appeal to those who have launched a slogan of civil disobedience which has leads to the deaths of men: let them stop !. I tell young people not to let themselves be manipulated ”.

The count was completed Sunday morning in most offices and the results were being sent to the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI).

Unsurprisingly, while the opposition had called for a boycott, the figures coming from the north, traditionally favorable to Alassane Ouattara, give him a landslide victory with a strong turnout, while in the opposition areas many offices were ransacked. or simply have not opened.

For example, in polling station 3 of the Korhogo-Est school group (North), the count gives 405 voters out of 408 registered, with 402 ballots in favor of Ouattara and 3 voids, i.e. a score … of 99.26% of participation and 100% of the vote for Mr. Ouattara, noted an AFP journalist.

The situation is quite different in the South. In Daoukro (center-east), stronghold of the opponent and former president Henri Konan Bédie, no voter was able to vote and the roadblocks erected the day before were still in place on Sunday, AFP journalists noted. This was the case in many other cities across the country, according to residents.

The opposition “transitional government”?

The IEC has five days to announce the results, but should do so as early as Monday, according to an estimate by one of its members.

Adama Bictogo, one of the main officials of the ruling party, estimated that “October 31 was not a day of flood, as the opposition predicted”.

“The Ivory Coast needs something other than men of the past”, he quipped about the main opponent, Henri Konan Bédié, 86 years old.

“This electoral coup was a failure. The Ivorian people succeeded in defeating this election, ”said opposition spokesman Pascal Affi N’Guessan, speaking of“ national mourning ”.

According to several of its members, the opposition, which made an appointment with the press at the end of the morning on Sunday, is preparing a “transitional government”.

The former rebel leader and ex-Prime Minister Guillaume Soro has, since his European exile, affirmed that he no longer recognizes President Ouattara, calling for “work” on his departure. “I understand the relevance of a transitional government,” he said.

Former Minister Abdallah Mabri Toikeusse, who left the presidential coalition before the election, called on him to “maintain mobilization in towns and villages”.

This tension among the world’s largest cocoa producer raises fears of a new crisis in a region hit by incessant jihadist attacks in the Sahel, by a putsch in Mali, a contested election in Guinea and a political protest at the neighboring Nigerian giant.

Thousands of Ivorians had left the big cities to “go to the village”, anticipating unrest, ten years after the crisis which followed the 2010 presidential election, causing 3,000 deaths, following the refusal of President Laurent Gbagbo, who had been in power since 2000, to recognize his defeat to Mr. Ouattara.

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