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Ivory Coast president, Ouattara, seeks jaw-jaw with rivals over crisis

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Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara has invited his rival, former President Henri Konan Bédié, for talks following violence sparked by his controversial third-term win.

Opposition leaders boycotted last month’s vote and vowed to set up a transitional government that would organise fresh elections.

They said it was illegal for Mr Ouattara to stand for a third term as it broke rules on term limits, but supporters of the president say a constitutional change in 2016 means his first term effectively did not count.

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On Monday the constitutional court confirmed Mr Ouattara’s win. He received 94.27% of votes. No appeal against the presidential election is now possible, according to Ivorian law.

President Ouattara invited Mr Bédié to a “meeting in the next few days for a open and sincere dialogue to help to restore confidence”, the AFP news agency reports.

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“I would like to reaffirm my availability, today like yesterday, for a sincere and constructive dialogue with the opposition, while respecting the constitutional order,” he was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.

Several opposition figures including former Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan face charges of terrorism and sedition after rejecting President Ouattara’s re-election.

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At least 40 people have been killed in election-related clashes since August.



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