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Ivorian opposition candidate Pascal Affi N'Guessan (right) calls for 'civilian transition' during a press conference in Abidjan on November 1, 2020. © Issouf Sanogo, AFP

Police in Ivory Coast have arrested opposition leader Pascal Affi N’Guessan and charged him with crimes including terrorism, after he contested the landslide reelection of President Alassane Ouattara.

Police arrested Affi N’Guessan, leader of the Ivorian Popular Front, and two of his aides late Friday, the opposition politician’s spokesman Jean Bonin told dpa on Saturday.

All three were taken to the headquarters of the state intelligence service. Affi N’Guessan is a member of the National Transitional Council, a coalition of opposition leaders who rejected the results of the October 31 election. The electoral commission said incumbent Ouattara won 94 per cent of the vote.

Public prosecutor Richard Christophe Adou said Affi N’Guessan and others linked to the council would be charged with terrorism and crimes against the state, after they called for civil disobedience.
The ensuing protest left dozens dead, about 100 people wounded and property damaged.

Riot police have also been surrounding the home of another opposition leader and chairman of the council, Konan Bedie, since November 3. Forces were still stationed outside his house on Saturday.

Bedie received 1.66 per cent and Affi N’Guessan 0.99 per cent of the votes cast in the election, the electoral commission said.

Both opposition politicians say Ouattara’s third-term bid is unconstitutional and had called on their supporters to boycott the election.

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