President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara has been sworn into office for a 3rd term.
Ouattara had in the ceremony that took place at the presidential palace in the presence of several African heads of state, French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, pledged to put reconciliation at the center of his priorities.
The President, in his speech vowed to improve the living conditions of Ivorians, to develop human capital, and to further reduce poverty.
Pledging to make Ivory Coast respectful of human rights, Ouattara condemned the violence which took place during and after the Oct. 31 presidential election. He said the “serious acts must not go unpunished.”
“No one is above the law. The lives of Ivorians must not be sacrificed to feed political ambitions. Respect for our constitution and institutions is the only guarantee of peace,” he added.
He averred that he will put reconciliation at the center of his priorities through the creation of a ministry in charge of reconciliation in the coming days.
According to him, the ministry “will have the mission of making an assessment of government actions, with the aim of strengthening national cohesion and reconciliation.”
In this regard, Ouattara said he has instructed Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko to resume discussions with opposition political parties which until now have not recognized his re-election.
It should be noted that the opposition boycotted the election to protest the candidacy of Alassane Ouattara for a third term they consider unconstitutional.
Quattara eventually won the election for a third term with 94.27%, the Independent Electoral Commission said.
According to official figures, violent protests that followed the elections, boycotted by the opposition, claimed 87 lives and injured hundreds others.
As of the time of filing this report, the government said 197 people have been put under judicial proceedings in the West African country in relation to the violence.
Quattara was first elected in 1999.