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Alassane Ouattara sworn in as President of Côte d'Ivoire

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Alassane Ouattara sworn in as President of Côte d'Ivoire

2011-05-07 01:45:27 GMT+7 (ICT)

ABIDJAN, COTE D'IVOIRE (BNO NEWS) -- Alassane Ouattara on Friday was sworn in as president of Côte d'Ivoire, five months after being elected in the November 2010 run-off, the state-run AIP news agency reported.

The country's Constitutional Council, chaired by Paul Yao N'dré, declared Ouattara as president after the surrendering of former President Laurent Gbagbo who refused to step down and plunged the nation into a long, deadly armed conflict.

The Council acknowledged the victory of Ouattara after endorsing the decision taken by African Union on March 10. Furthermore, the Council said that its previous support to Gbagbo was under "exceptional circumstances."

On April 11, forces loyal to Ouattara and United Nations peacekeepers captured Gabgbo ending months of fighting that killed hundreds of people and left up to 1 million Ivoirians displaced.

In December 2010, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) declared Ouattara as the winner of the November 28 election after receiving 54.1 percent of the votes against 45.9 percent of Gbagbo. The IEC results were certified and ratified by the UN.

However, the Constitutional Council annulled results in seven regions and informed that Gbagbo won 51 percent of the votes as Ouattara only 49 percent. The annulment of votes was ordered by then-president Gabgbo as he claimed that the run-off was plagued with irregularities.

The UN mission in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) and the UN Special Representative Y. J. Choi added that even if contested tally sheets were thrown out, it was still clear that Ouattara had won. The African Union and the international community later supported the IEC results.

After Gbagbo's capture, Choi called for national reconciliation and reconstruction as the ways for restoring peace and stability. He also assured that the 9,000 UNOCI peacekeepers will remain in the country to aid in the transition.

The 2010 presidential elections were meant to be the culminating point in reunifying a country split by civil war in 2002 into a Government-controlled south and a rebel-held north.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-05-07

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