ABIDJAN, Cote d’Ivoire — Ivory Coast’s electoral commission said Tuesday that President Alassane Ouattara had overwhelmingly won a third term in office after his two main opponents boycotted the election.
Ouattara received 94.27% of the vote in Saturday’s election, the commission said. Turnout was 53.90%, according to election officials, while the opposition has maintained only 10% of Ivorian voters took part.
Ouattara had been expected to easily win the election after leading opposition figures called on supporters to stay home. The opposition first tried to get Ouattara disqualified from seeking a third term but that legal effort failed.
The president has been in power for nearly a decade and initially said he would not run again, but changed his mind after his party’s candidate died suddenly in July. He maintains that the two-term limit does not apply to him because of a constitutional referendum passed in 2016.
The 78-year-old president, who is popular with international donors, has said he was motivated to run again because of his love for his country.
Tensions surrounding the vote have raised fears of post-election violence in the West African country, where more than 3,000 people died in 2010-2011 when then-President Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede defeat to Ouattara. The opposition says more than 30 people have died in violence related to Saturday’s vote.
Of the 44 candidates who sought to run, 40 were disqualified. Only one of the three opposition candidates actively campaigned against Ouattara after the two others called for a boycott.
Krista Larson, The Associated Press