Ivory Coast Elects Alassane Ouattara in Landslide Election
After a landslide victory in the polls of a peaceful presidential election, President Alassane Outtara will stand as the newly elected president of Ivory Coast. The near 55 percent turnout on Sunday is noted to be considerably higher than in polls in 1995 and 2000, but still not as high as the 2010 election.
This peaceful transition veers away from the violent internal clashes which took place in the country in 2010. More than 3,000 people were killed in the conflict sparked by ex-president Gbagbo’s refusal to accept his defeat by Outtara in the West African nation’s last presidential poll in 2010. President Alassane Outtara was bolstered by nearly double-digit growth rates and though faced with a deeply divided opposition, he took nearly 84 percent of vote, according to results announced by the electoral commission on Wednesday. His election is one to be remembered based on this landslide victory.
The opposing candidate, Pascal Affi N’Guessan, who is the current head of ex-president Gbagbo’s Ivorian Popular Front came in a distant second, carrying a little over 9 percent of the votes.
N’Guessan spoke to journalists after the results were announced, saying, “the vote shows that Ivory Coast is still in a crisis. The vote confirms that Ivorians need reconciliation.”
For Ivory Coast, Outtara’s win signifies a further commitment to carrying out policies which can move the country forward as a leader in West Africa. Though critics point out that the difference in the results might reflect changing public opinion where Ivory Coast’s policies are concerned.
In an interview with Reuters last week, Ouattara, who faced numerous challenges in running for the presidential seat based on his origin, relayed that he will seek a change in the nationality clause which has barred many others like him, in the running for the presidential candidacy.
“We know he’ll continue what he has started so well. We want peace in this country,” said Sylvie Afro as she sat behind a market stall selling mobile phone accessories in the Adjame district of the commercial capital Abidjan.
More and more citizens continue to voice their approval of Outtara and his policies. It seems that Ivory Coast has elected a leader they have a strong confidence in. He is continually credited as a leader who presents a strong mandate to pull Ivory Coast into a new era.
To learn more about the Ivory Coast presidential election, visit this article by Reuters here