Ivory Coast’s Ouattara sworn in for second presidential term
Senegal’s President Macky Sall, chief of the ECOWAS regional bloc, and Benin’s President Thomas Boni Yayi were among top officials watching as Ouattara, dressed in a dark suit, formally returned to power at a ceremony in Abidjan.
“I solemnly swear to respect and loyally defend the constitution, protect the rights and freedoms of the citizens, to conscientiously fulfil my duties in the best interest of the nation,” said 73-year-old Ouattara, his right hand raised.
“Let the people withdraw their trust and may I submit to the rigour of the law if I betray my oath.”
The former high-flying economist swept to victory in elections on October 25, cementing Ivory Coast’s return to stability after years of turbulence.
Ouattara’s first presidential win in 2010 triggered several months of bloodshed in which some 3,000 people died as his predecessor, strongman leader Laurent Gbagbo, refused to concede defeat.
Gbagbo was eventually defeated by pro-Ouattara forces, backed by the UN and France, and is now awaiting trial before the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity.
This election, in contrast, was praised by observers as being generally smooth and peaceful, with the country’s Constitutional Council confirming Monday that Ouattara scooped 83.66 percent of the vote.
He solidly beat main opposition candidate Pascal Affi N’Guessan, who took 9.29 percent of the vote.