Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara insisted on Tuesday there would be no political transition following his disputed re-election in a poll last month that was boycotted by the opposition.
Ouattara was declared the winner with more than 94 percent of the October 31 vote but the opposition refused to acknowledge the result, launching a campaign of “civil disobedience” and vowing to set up a transitional government.
Deadly violence, often tinged by ethnic rivalry, erupted in August after Ouattara announced his bid for a third spell in office despite the constitution limiting him to two terms.
He and his supporters argued that a 2016 revision of the constitution reset his term counter to zero.
“All those who get notions of having a transition, they can always dream. There will be no transition!” Ouattara said during a gathering of his RHDP party in Abidjan, the west African country’s economic hub.
Ouattara also ridiculed his critics, saying: “Where does this idea of transition come from? Three years before they know there is an election. They sit in their living room and then they say there’s a transition.”
Ouattara again indicated he was willing to establish a dialogue with main opposition rival Henri Konan Bedie after the pair met last week.
Opposition leaders face legal action and stand accused of stoking violence that has left more than 80 people dead since August, sparking fears of a return to the level of unrest seen after a 2010 election in which 3,000 people were killed.
Ouattara has called for “mutual forgiveness and tolerance,” adding “we have to talk to each other” and stop the unrest.
“We need to continue living together in peace,” he said. AFP