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Ouattara mocks opposition call for 'transitional council'

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Leo Correa/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Alassane Ouattara

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, re-elected for a controversial third term, mocked Tuesday an opposition "plan", assuring that there would be "no transition", but also inviting him to dialogue.

"All those who have ideas about a transition, they can always dream, there will be no transition," President Ouattara said at a political council of his party, the Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP), in Abidjan.

Re-elected in the presidential election of October 31 with 94.27% of the vote ("as some would say, a Stalinist score", noted Mr. Ouattara who does not hesitate to use humor in his speeches), the head of state ironically said: "Where does this idea of transition come from? Three years before we know that there is an election, we sit in his living room and then we say that there is a transition".

Not recognizing Mr. Ouattara's re-election because they considered a third term unconstitutional, leaders of the opposition, who boycotted the election, proclaimed a "National Transitional Council".

After several days of tension, marked by the arrest of several opposition leaders, however, a dialogue began with a meeting on November 11 between Mr. Ouattara and the leader of the opposition, former President Henri Konan Bédié.

While saying he was "outraged" by the "87 deaths" (the government had counted 85 so far) caused by clashes during the election period, as well as by the fact that nearly 1.5 million Ivorians were unable to vote because of "civil disobedience" by the opposition, Mr. Ouattara called for "mutual forgiveness and tolerance.

"We have to talk to each other, we have to stop this," he said. "We must continue to live together in peace," he insisted.

On Friday the opposition had demanded "acts of appeasement" of the government as a "prerequisite" to any political dialogue, to try to put an end to the electoral violence.