THIS JUST IN TO DNT – Former president of Cote d’Ivoire and now opposition leader Henri Konan Bedie has been arrested and taken from his home by the Ivorian police. Several other leaders of opposition parties have also been arrested.
This follows a press conference yesterday at that same Bedie residence where the opposition leaders came together to form what they call the National Transitional Council as the legitimate authority because they did not recognize Allassane Dramane Outtara as the president of Cot d’Ivoire.
On October 31, the scheduled presidential elections attracted some 21% of registered voters due to a nationwide boycott by the opposition parties in protest of Outtara’s candidacy, which they opposed as illegal.
Some legal observers maintain Outtara was well within his right to run again for president because the new constitution of 2016 ushered in a new republic and therefore wiped away his previous term.
But the same standard was not applied to Lauren Gbagbo, for example, who had completed two terms as president and wanted to run again because the new constitution had nullified his previous terms.
Last week the electoral commission declared Outtara as winner of the election with 94.27%. But a day later, the opposition leaders declared that they would not recognize Outtara as president of the country and proceeded to for the National Transitional Council.
Outtara’s candidacy has sparked nationwide protests that has caused many lives and several properties burned. West African leaders have impressed upon him to desist to no avail. French president Emmanuel Macron is even reported to be against Outtara’s third term and has recalled his Ambassador.
The arrest of the opposition leaders is certain to spark a new round of protests that many fear may lead to civil unrest.
DNT News with reporting from Julius Ouya, Abijan