ABIDJAN (Reuters) – Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara won a third term with 94.27% of the vote, final results showed on Monday, after an election that opposition parties largely boycotted and dismissed as illegal.
Main opposition figures are facing criminal charges after denouncing the Oct. 31 vote and creating a rival government in protest.
Ouattara signalled on Monday evening that he was open to dialogue with the opposition to enable calm to return to the world’s top cocoa growing nation following violent protests before and after the election.
“I would like to reaffirm my availability, today like yesterday, for a sincere and constructive dialogue with the opposition, while respecting the constitutional order,” Ouattara said in a nationwide broadcast.
He invited former president Henri Konan Bedie for a meeting in the coming days. Bedie had sided with the opposition in boycotting the election and forming the parallel government.
Opposition groups said Ouattara violated the constitution, which limits presidents to two terms. Ouattara had maintained that the approval of a new constitution in 2016 allowed him to restart his mandate.
Clashes in the run-up to the vote and on election day killed around 35 people, officials said.
At a press conference on Monday, constitutional council president Mamadou Kone officially announced Ouattara’s victory, confirming last week’s provisional results.
(Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Writing by Alessandra Prentice and Bate Felix; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Grant McCool)