The Europe Union (EU) on Tuesday expressed concerns over the political crisis in Cote d’Ivoire caused by a controversial presidential election, the official results of which showed a landslide victory for long-term President Alassane Ouattara.
According to early results, Ouattara, who has been in office since 2011, has obtained nearly 95 per cent in the Oct. 31 vote.
The campaign was accompanied by massive public protests over Ouattara’s decision to run for a third presidential term.
The protests against his candidature have been underway since late summer, claiming dozens of lives.
“The EU expresses its deep concern about the tensions, provocations and incitement to hatred that have prevailed and continue to persist in the country around this election.
“The violence that has caused the death of several people and injured many must be independently investigated so that justice can be delivered as soon as possible,” the EU said in a statement.
The EU also said it noted “very wide disparities in the turnout rate in the different regions of the country” observed by special missions during the vote.
The EU also said it was ready to support any interim and international initiative or efforts made towards defusing the tensions and “resuming dialogue” between parties.
The opposition leaders and presidential candidates Henri Bedie and Pascal N’Guessan both boycotted the Saturday ballot and called for mass rallies against Ouattara’s candidature.
They gained 1.66 per cent and 0.99 per cent of the vote, respectively and subsequently announced the formation of the transition authorities to counter Ouattara, whose candidacy and victory they refused to recognise.
The Western African country faces a violent escalation reminiscent of the one in 2011, when a political crisis turned into a nationwide military conflict, resulting in some 3,000 casualties.
The then internationally-recognised Ivorian President Ouattara was in clashes with Laurent Gbagbo, the country’s president from 2000-2011, following a controversial presidential election in March 2011.