Ivory Coast Deploys Police After Opposition Creates Parallel Government - 9jaflaver

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Ivory Coast Deploys Police After Opposition Creates Parallel Government

Riot police dispersed opposition supporters outside the main Ivory Coast opposition leader’s house on Tuesday after the government accused him of sedition for creating a parallel administration in defiance of President Alassane Ouattara’s election win.

Police rolled tear gas canisters towards opposition members and journalists in front of former president Henri Konan Bedie’s residence in the commercial capital Abidjan, videos shared by journalists showed.

It was not clear what the police intended to do about Bedie, whose supporters say Ouattara’s landslide victory was unconstitutional. A police spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

The moves deepen a bitter and sometimes deadly standoff over Ouattara’s bid for a third term that led the opposition to boycott Saturday’s vote and then reject its results.

Late on Monday, the candidates who boycotted the vote – Bedie and ex-prime minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan – announced they had set up what they called a transitional council, with Bedie as its president.

“Condemning in the strongest terms this act of sedition, the government has called on the prosecutor,” to bring those responsible to justice, the government said in a statement.

The run-up to the election was marred by clashes between rival supporters that killed at least 30 people. At least five died in election day violence in opposition strongholds.

The violence has spurred fears of longer term unrest. A brief civil war following the disputed election in 2010 that brought Ouattara to power killed over 3,000 people.

On Monday, gunshots were heard in Abidjan’s upmarket Cocody neighbourhood near Bedie’s residence. The opposition said the house and those of some of its other leaders had been attacked, although it was not possible to independently confirm this.

The United Nations’ refugee agency said on Tuesday that electoral tensions had caused 3,200 Ivorian refugees to flee to neighbouring countries, including 1,000 who had arrived in Liberia in the past day.

Ouattara’s bid for a third term was rejected as unconstitutional by the opposition. He said a new constitution approved in 2016 gave him the right to run again.

Ouattara won the election with 94.27% of the vote, according to provisional results announced by the electoral commission early on Tuesday.


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