Ouattara’s party wins majority in Ivory Coast parliament vote

ABIDJAN (AFP) – Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara’s party won a majority in last weekend’s legislative elections, official results showed on Tuesday, in a vote that raised hopes the country’s recent violent tensions were behind it.

Ouattara’s RHDP won 137 of 254 contested seats compared to 91 for opposition parties in Saturday’s polls, according to results published by the West African country’s electoral commission.

The vote passed off peacefully and for the first time in a decade included all of the country’s main political players, providing hope that Ivory Coast has begun to emerge from recent turbulence.

It was a key test of stability following violence surrounding October’s presidential vote, which was boycotted by the opposition and claimed 87 lives.

“We see that the RHDP is the most representative party in Ivory Coast,” said the party’s number two Adama Bictogo.

Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara, flanked by his wife Dominique Ouattara speaks to the press in Abidjan. PHOTO: AFP

“We have elected officials throughout the territory in all regions,” he added, hailing “the transparency, the calm” with which the elections were carried out.

The main opposition PDCI has however alleged electoral fraud, while ex-president Laurent Gbagbo’s FPI party had called on its supporters to remain calm and await the official results.

Tuesday’s results showed the largest opposition grouping will be a coalition formed by PDCI members and Gbagbo supporters, which won 50 seats.

One seat remains unfilled in the 255-seat assembly due to the death of a candidate in a northern constituency, where an election will be held within a month.

Turnout was 37.88 per cent, the same as in the last legislative elections in 2016.

“The RHDP has succeeded in tipping many regions in its favour and it is in the process of acquiring the status of a national party, beyond its traditional strongholds in the north of the country,” political scientist Sylvain N’Guessan said ahead of the complete results.