Ouattara now formally Ivorian President

Submitted by webmaster on Sat, 28/05/2011 - 11:08

Afrol News, 6 May

Yamoussoukro - Alassane Ouattara on Friday formally took the oath of the President of Côte d'Ivoire, five months after he won the Ivorian presidential elections.

The Ivorian President took the oath on the country's constitution one day after the Constitutional Court of Côte d'Ivoire made a formal statement, confirming Mr Ouattara as the legally elected President of the country.

The Court thereby annulled its earlier announcement that ex-President Laurent Gbagbo had won last year's Ivorian elections - which had come at the same time as the country's electoral commission confirmed Mr Ouattara's victory. The Court also annulled Mr Gbagbo's oath-taking ceremony.

Friday's inauguration ceremony, with Mr Ouattara in civilian clothes and a large number of foreign diplomats present, largely contrasted Mr Gbagbo's controversial ceremony late last year, which was boycotted by the international community and termed illegal.

Mr Ouattara swore "to respect and faithfully defend the constitution" of Côte d'Ivoire. He also swore to protect the rights of all Ivorian citizens.

For most Ivorians, the presidential inauguration ceremony represents a hope for an end
Ivorian ex-President Laurent Gbagbo surrendering to the forces of Alassane Ouattara

Ivorian ex-President Laurent Gbagbo surrendering to the forces of Alassane Ouattara on 11 April 2011
© Aristide Bodegla/UN Photo/afrol News
to ten years of political instability and civil war and five months of intense post-election violence.

While fighting in Côte d'Ivoire has mostly ceased and international investors are heading towards the country, the Ouattara government nevertheless faces great challenges to reconcile the split Ivorian people.

The split is best described by the continued house arrest of ex-President Gbagbo as the Ouattara government is preparing possible charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity against him and Ivorian army commanders.

At the same time, President Ouattara himself is facing increased criticism for possible war crimes committed by troops fighting on his side, with claims of both massacres and mass rape. Mr Ouattara has promised serious investigations into these claims.

But as the reconciliation and judiciary process after the Ivorian violence only is in its beginnings, Friday's oath-taking ceremony by President Ouattara formally ends the post-election chaos in Côte d'Ivoire.