Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara apparently has won a controversial third term in office in a landslide victory in the West African nation’s presidential election on Saturday.
Electoral commission president Ibrahime Coulibaly-Kuibiert declared Quattara the winner early Tuesday, saying he received just over 3 million votes or 94% of the total. Just over half of all eligible voters cast ballots, Coulibaly-Kuibiert said.
The Ivory Coast constitutional council still has to validate the election results and declare a winner after hearing any complaints or challenges.
Quattara secured the apparent victory in the midst of deadly pre-election violence and a boycott of the election orchestrated by two opposition leaders.
The top opposition candidates, former President Henri Konan Bedie and ex-Prime Minister Pascal Affi N'Guessan, say they will not recognize a Quattara victory, claiming the vote was slanted because they called for a boycott of Saturday’s election.
They also said Quattara’s run for a third term is illegal because it violates the constitution, which allows presidents to serve two terms. Ouattara rejected that notion, saying the approval of a new constitution in 2016 allowed him to seek a third term.
The opposition announced late Monday the formation of a transition council to help create an alternative government. It said the council would outline a blueprint for a fair presidential election.
The Ivory Coast government did not issue an immediate response to the opposition’s plans.